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PH: The Return Of A Garbage City?

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The Spillover of the Christmas and New Year celebrations is now being felt in the form of huge  waste dumps that are now a common sight in Port Harcourt.

No matter the route one follows into the city, huge refuse dumps saunters from a distance as one drives into the metropolis from both the Aba Road axis and Choba axis.

The Eleme axis is not spared as well. Even driving from the Bonny waterfront into Town buses and taxis meander through the dump sites at Creek Road. The dump becomes glaring at Lagos bus stop,’ just few metres from the junction.

The whole picture depicts rot with a simple message of a city whose refuse collectors have gone to sleep. But as at Monday when the dumps started disappearing from the exit corners, the city centre was still beset by lots of abandoned waste dumps.

From the Agip Estate at Rumueme driving down straight into Abacha Road, one is greeted by a waste dump stretching few metres into the high brow neighbourhood.

As one exits Woji junction in the new GRA and enters Onne Road another refuse dump erupts from a distance exuding foul odour.

At Mile 3 Park a huge refuse dump had almost become permanent there till late last year when refuse collectors evacuated it, but from indications the dump has continued to swell leading, sometimes to heavy traffic jam along the route.

Fortunately the dump at Education bus stop was totally cleared, while the one at Mile one Market has continued to fluctuate in size over the period. However, the collectors should be commended for trying to check the dump at the market.

Moving further to the Mile 4 axis, the dump at market junction is yet to be fully cleared. The same scene dots the Ikwerre Road all the way to Rumuokoro Junction, where a huge dump as at last week sits close to the Anglican Church by the roundabout.

From the Iwofe axis, a huge refuse dump is almost spilling unto the road just beside Jarus Base. The same scenario dots the road down to Rumuolumeni.

One resident in the area who gave her name as Amaka Peters lamented that most times dumps take a whole month to clear since collectors hardly come into the area.

Luckily areas like Trans-Amadi, Woji town including Amadi-Roundabout where a little bit spared during the period even though there were slight presence of waste dumps often quickly cleared before they become nuisance.

Within the slaughter area, residents and traders breathed a sigh of relief as not much of waste dmps where seen within the axis, except when one drives into Azuabie axis.

Investigations by The Tide on Sunday  reveal that most refuse collectors whose sites are out of public glare or far from the city centre hardly evacuate their sites often leading to the mountainous waste heaps seen in those areas.

Areas often affected include Iwofe, Azuabie, Elelenwo, Rumukurushi, woji and deep down Borokiri area in town axis of the metropolis.

Miffed by the poor waste management in the city last year, the state governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi had announced plans by his administration to evolve an efficient waste evacuation systems.

The governor had at a public forum last year flaked waste contractors for their failure to meet up government expectation, while lamenting that waste management had become a burden to his administration.

Few weeks after the governor expressed displeasure over the situation, the State Commissioner for Environment Barrister Kingsley Chindah quickly evolved measures to salvage the situation.

Part of the measures evolved by the environment ministry include the introduction of night sweeping, monitoring of indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents, introduction of special sanitation days for public places such as: markets, parks and motor-parks.

However, the special sanitation days for public places is yet to have the desired impact, since most of the users of the area fail to turn up or participate fully.

Environmental experts are of the view that most of the waste that deface the city are generated in public places, and therefore harped on the need for government to intensity campaign in monitoring those places.

Commenting over the swelling waste dumps within the metropolis, an environmental engineer and lecturer in the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Dr. Alexander Akor remarked that indiscriminate dumping of wastes affects people life span.

Most especially he observed that when waste water seeps underground, it affects the quality of drinking water.

Dr Akor observed that since most borehole water are hardly treated peoples lives are endangered.

The environmental expert further warned that waste dumps can ignite fire as a lot of bacteria in the waste can spark fire when they are overheated   by the sun. Such fire Dr Akor insisted can also spread to houses, especially in congested neighbourhoods leading to loss of lives and properties.

In a swift reaction to the situation, the Rivers State Environmental sanitation Authority (RSESA) on Wednesday issued a pres statement calling on all waste contractors to handover government properties in their possession.

According to the statement signed by RSESA chairman, Hon. Nnamdi Wokekoro, “All refuse disposal, dumpsite management controls with the Rivers State Government have been terminated with effect from 31st January, 2010.

The announcement The Tide on Sunday  investigations reveal cannot be disconnected from the glaring ineptitude of refuse contractors to rid the city of filth.

In order not to worsen the situation, the agency called on the refuse contractors to continue their duties till the end of this month or forefeet their payment for the month of January.

From indications, however contractors who have met the requirement of the RSESA may likely be re-appointed before 31st January.

Nevertheless, the major challenge on ground now is to ensure that the huge waste dumps is cleared around the city since that is one way to maintain the Garden City status of Port Harcourt.

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Metro

Rivers, A Global Investment Hub

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Nothing could be more elusive and desirous as the special skills and talent of a wand and a midas touch. Dr Freeman O’ Freeman is one the few possessive of this rare gift. He has a penchant for the reorganization of ailing industries, organizations and institutions. The foremost technocrat and consultant was recently spotted by the Port Harcourt Metro at a public function in the Garden city. When his attention was sought for an interview he willingly obliged an the session was a deep insight into his experience especially his years of consultancy services with the Rivers state Government in the  early 1990s. During these period he recalled that 14 parastalals and government agencies including the three state owned media Houses were under his consultancy services for full reorganisation process. “We made the State Electricity Board to be the highest revenue earner after the Ministry of finance, we also made the staffs of Water Board, Super Board, and Rivers Marine to earn their salary after the reorganization processes, some of the moribond companies can still be revived.”  He said Rivers state was deeply blessed with potentials to host the business world through flourishing business activities, nothing that most black Americans business moguls were looking for opportunities of investing their wealth and knowledge. Dr Freeman who is also and author and religious counsellor emphasized the need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian state to address the needs and imperatives of justice in the country. He canvassed for the creation of a state owned insurance company to secure the wealth and investments of  Rivers state. “ Rivers state is global investment hub, their is need to decongest Lagos by tapping into the enormous investment potentials in Rivers state, it’s quite unfortunate that investments of Rivers state government are easing out without full privileges to the state government, despite hosting two federal terminals economic activities in the state is still low. I want the Rivers state government to reap the benefit of insurance before Governor Wike leaves office, it will count for him as one his greatest legacies for Rivers people. Commenting on the prevalence of ethno religious crisis in the country, he pointed out the very custodians of religious faith were the propellers of the evolving Crisis. “it’s very unfortunate that people don’t practice what they preach, the much resources in the hands of the ministers should be redirected for the interest of the followers, the early missionaries gave education virtually free. Ministers should allow their members to have leveraging access to their schools, this will reduced the loads of poor parents and help in producing an informed and better society”. With a deep sense of concern, he urged the federal government to address the growing spate of insecurity in country, particularly the “ incautious activities of herders.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Metro

Wife Battery: Man Forced To Undertaken By In-laws

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In a bid to restore the marriage of a certain couple in Port Harcourt, ( names withheld) the family members and parents of the wife has forced the husband to an undertaken that he will no longer used their daughter as a punch bag. The Port Harcourt Metro gathered the parents of the wife are relatively well to do very supportive to the upkeep of their daughters family. Their intervention came as a result of repeated cases of physical and psychological abuses of their daughter by her husband. It was also gathered that the parents of the wife had made moves to terminate the relationship to secure the life of their daughter but she bluffed their moves and stuck to the marriage based on her professed love for the husband. The husband was said to have been invited to an intense family session during which he was asked to sign an undertaken to be of good conduct and act as a responsible man or gets his wife forfeited. The session became dramatic when the repentant husband and in-law was said to have broken down in tears , with confessions that he was always propelled by some incontrollable forces to act the way he did.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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Metro

Group Plans Grassroots Medical Campaign

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As part of measures of promoting effective medical care at the grassroots, a body under the auspices of Medical  Xray and Imaging Technicians Association of Nigeria says plans has been put in place for mass sensitisation on the need for greater access to medical services at the rural areas. National President of the body, Rev Akiene Nunyor who disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said the sensitisation was targeted at rousing the sensitivities of critical stakeholders towards improving health care at the rural areas as well as creating awareness among the rural dwellers. He pointed out that the absence of ultra sound facilities at rural communities was responsible for high mortality among pregnant women in rural communities, as they lacked access to the facilities. Its difficult for women to go for scan exercises for proper medical check at the rural areas. In times of emergencies before they get to the urban areas that have the facilities it becomes late. He called for a synergy between the private sector and government especially in the area of research, training and manpower development in the health sector,  He assured that the body was ready to provide the professional regulatory services for middle manpower development and standards in medical practice. While commending the Rivers state Government for its efforts in promoting care in the state he called for a “ Public/ Private sector  driven “approach in promoting effective health sector delivery.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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