*KCTA source says much being spent on evacuating solid wastes
*Hints on plans to start charging residents for wastes evacuation
By; SHOLA CREATES, Kaduna
It is August, the heart of raining season. It is also a time of the year when climate change and environmental unpleasant predictions become a reality usually when such predictions are ignored by those who are supposed to prevent them from happening.
Response to such unfriendly predictions has nothing to do with spirituality. It rather, calls for action from all stakeholders including government, civil society, development partners, professionals, and the media. The Government will provide coordination while others offer technical support.
As a state, Kaduna has survived flood and disease outbreaks associated with poor planning, poor enforcement of environmental laws, and indiscriminate dumping of waste by residents.
Sabon Tasha in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State is one of the densely populated Kaduna landscapes with the influx of visitors and settlers alike daily, thereby stretching the available infrastructure, including waste collector placed by the popular Sabo Bridge.
For several reasons, the solid waste dump daily on the designated spot on this mini bridge is now competing with residents of the area who have to ply the Kachia road for their daily activities.
Passersby, locals in the area including the wheelbarrow pushers and scavengers are largely responsible for the eyesore.
A resident of Sabo who simply identified himself as Mr. Bawa, led the team into what is partly responsible for the heaps of refuse with offensive odour oozing out from them.
“People always find it difficult to climb the place where the container is placed especially those that are using the wheelbarrows. They simply pour the refuse on the road and move away quickly”, he said.
A scavenger sighted at the spot, Marcus alleged that a team from Kaduna City Territorial Authority (KCTA) had chased them away from the place.
According to him, “we used to work on the refuse spot until government people came to pursue us. If not for what we are doing, refuse would have taken over the entire road.
“We search for recyclable materials like cartons, wood, and plastics. But whenever we are done, we will use shovels to clear the waste and put it in one place for easy evacuation.
“At the time, they were paying both of us N1,500 every Saturday. But at a point, they stopped paying us and also stopped doing the work”, he said.
The team then moved to the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) but was directed to the Kaduna Capital Territory Administration (KCTA).
At KCTA, the Director in charge of solid wastes was not on seat, but a credible source who spoke in confidence, asked the team to officially write a request letter to the agency before a detailed interview could be granted.
Meanwhile, the source denied the allegation of chasing away the scavengers and quickly added that those that have grouped themselves into cooperatives have been regularised by a concerned agency for easy monitoring and tracking.
The source also hinted that locals are possibly unaware of how much the state is spending to evacuate solid waste, hence the continuous indiscriminate dumping of waste.
According to the source, the state government through KCTA is considering implementing pay for trash policy to make people responsible.
“When government does something for people and the people are not asked to pay for such, they tend not to know the monetary value of such services.
“So, we want to ask residents to begin to pay for this service. We want to start with residents like banks, factories, and other businesses and later extend to streets and communities. When people pay for services no matter how little, they will value such services.
“Apart from that, we have just developed a jingle to be played on radio stations to sensitize Kaduna residents on proper waste management”, the source explained.