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Garbage Return To PH Streets …Residents Decry Refuse Heaps

Efforts to reposition Port Harcourt to its garden city status appears to befalling as refuse have taken over many streets and major roads

This is giving serious concern to residents, who spoke to The Vortex.

According to them, waste generated from houses, markets and shops are left in heaps for weeks without evacuation.

According to a resident Oke Iwumma, the refuse emit very offensive odour that could result to sickness.

Iwunma explained that some individuals dump their refuse on pavements and street corners, but pointed out that RIWAMA workers or whoever was concerned hardly come to clear them on time.

“The refuse on the streets and pavements could stay for a week or more before it is disposed”, he said.

The Vortex reports that heaps of refuse in nylon bags lined up on a pavement from Obi Wali Roundabout in Rumuigbo to State School, Rumuapara.

A Rumuigbo resident told our reporter that the refuse had stayed there for several days waiting to be disposed.

The Vortex correspondent also witnessed heaps of refuse from Slaughter Market, Trans Amadi lined up on the pavement from Slaughter Roudabout to the Nigerian Bottling Company (Coca Cola) and beyond.

The surroundings of the Veterinary Clinic at the slaughter, our reporter equally observed, is an eye sore as waste generated by goat seller’s litter everywhere, particularly on the pavement opposite it.

Buba, an Hausa man who sells goat at the market said they dump waste on the pavement including rotten items for evacuation by sanitation officials.

“Unfortunately, sanitation officials hardly come to evacuate them on time”, he said.

At Odili Road, a mini dumpsite almost always spill over to the main road. Last week after it had stayed for months, according to a resident, a truck was seen evacuating it. “But the evacuation was poorly done as debris that emits offending odour still litter the area”.

Our reporter also saw a dumpsite close to EcoBank in Okporo from where dirty smelly water emanates and covers one side of the road. Vultures have made the area their regular place.

At Rumuobioakani, particularly close to Obio Cottage  Hospital and Rumuobioakani Roundabout, our reporter saw dumpsites that were evacuated which nevertheless remained dirty due to bad job done by the contractors in charge of evacuation.

Our reporter gathered that some residents are part of the problem as they hardly make use of receptacles provided for the wastes. Some, residents dump refuse in gutters and creeks thereby contributing to flooding.

A very worrisome aspect of the issue according to some residents is the inability of RIWAMA contractors to evacuate waste to designated dumpsites on time.

According to Amadi Okwu, a Rumuokwurusi indigene, mountains of refuse could stay for days at dumpsites without  evacuation.

Okwu gave an example with Tank dumpsite at Rumuokwurusi market, which he said stays up to one week before it is evacuated.

The heap of rubbish which is generated from the market, he told our reporter, sometimes spilled over to the East-West Road.

The Vortex correspondent visited some dumpsites around Port Harcourt.

At Old Aba Road, close to ‘Mini Chinda, Oil Mill Market, Rumuokwurusi, huge refuse dump covered a portion of the road and disrupted traffic. The waste, it was gathered, were generated from the Oil Mill Market and from Rumuokwurusi residents.

A chief in the community who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that the dumps could stay for months without being evacuated; stressing that it had caused the overflowing of Mini Chinda Creek several times in the past.

He alleged that the dumpsite was responsible for the flooding of some parts of Rumuokwurusi during the rains.

At Rumuodara dumpsite, opposite St. Peter Claver Catholic Church at East-West Road, the mountain of refuse which residents said was there for several weeks had been evacuated, but cartloads of rubbish brought by scavengers who go from house to house collecting garbage for a fee, were seen all over the site omitting offensive odour.

At Eliozu, a dumpsite close to Mini Woo was messy. Although, a truck was stationed there for garbage, the surroundings were unkempt as half of the waste that should be thrown inside the truck was on the ground.

Ebube Njoku, a resident told our reporter that the contents of that dumpsite always spilled into Mini Woo, river and cause the flooding of Eliozu communities.

Amadi Emmanuel, a student of Environmental Science described a mountain of refuse at Apple Holiday Junction, Rukpokwu.

The dump which he said had been there for years, had taken over a large chunk of the road.

He told our reporter that residents of the area had called the attention of the authorities through the media to no avail, adding that people no longer complain as they had taken it as part of their life.

Muyinwa Dapo, a resident wondered why Rivers State which prides itself as Garden City would be so dirty when Governor Wike had repeatedly said his government spends about N500 million (Five Hundred Million Naira) for waste management.

Dapo called on the State Governor to overhaul the Rivers State Waste Management Agency, (RIWAMA) for a more effective and result-oriented performance.

Although, our correspondent could not speak with the sole administrator of RIWAMA, Felix Obuah on the issue, his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam had issued press statements condemning the poor sanitation attitude of some residents, and for not bagging their refuse properly.

Recently, the sole administrator of RIWAMA, Obuah had, through a press statement by his Media Aide, Jerry Needam said that some people use the agency’s receptacles to dump unwanted babies.

Obuah had also through a press statement by Jerry Needam terminated the contracts of some Refuse contractors engaged by the agency for poor performance.

The termination of the contract, we gathered, had galvanized other contractors to execute their jobs well, but it appears a relapse had set in, resulting in the heap of rubbish that is now witnessed in the city.

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