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Stinking Dump Site Scares Oyigbo Residents

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Residents of Oyigbo in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State have cried out over the danger posed by the continued neglect of the refuse dump site located at the Aba/Port Harcourt express way.

The dump site which was built by the Rivers State Government to assist refuse contractors in the prompt disposal of refuse generated in parts of Port Harcourt City, has become a source of putrid odour with its attendant health hazard

Speaking to The Tide on the issue last week, the chairman Timber Market at Oyigbo, Chief Michael Onusonezie, said the strong odour of the waste dump site was not only threatening the life of the people of the area but has driven away customers that normally patronise business in the area.

He said that most businesses had already closed down due to lack of patronage.

Chief Onusonezie, therefore, appealed to the Sanitation Authority to consider the immediate relocation of the dump site.

According to him, almost all traders and passers-by in the area vacated the area each time refuse contractors commenced work at the dump site.

He also appealed to the state government to immediately embark on measures to prevent the outbreak of air epidemic disease even before finding an alternative location for the dumpsite.

Chief Onusonezie, said that the decision to locate a waste dump site at the area did not take into consideration the danger it will pose to the health of the residents.

Another resident of the area and secretary of technical, Plumbing and Tiles Market Dealers Association, Mr. Henry Okorie, urged government to have a rethink about the dumping site, because of its implication to the people, especially children who are the most vulnerable group.

According to him, it is an irony that the state government was spending billions of naira to build hospitals and health centres to save lives while at the same time tolerating activities that poses great danger to the health of the people.

He called on the state government to find urgent solutions to save the lives of people in the area, by either relocating the waste dump site or relocated the residents living in the area.

Also some landlords of the area, Mr. Ifeanyi Okere, David Awolabi, Sokiriye Benard among others including market women appealed to the government to do something about the situation before it gets out of hand.

When contacted the media officer to Environmental Sanitation Authority, Mr. Olakekan Ige, said the Authority was considering immediate fumigation of the site as is the standard practice in order to prevent outbreak of diseases.

The operations Manager of the waste dump site, Mr. Tochukwu Anyanwu, also confirmed the plan by the Sanitation Authority to fumigate the area in order to arrest the odour and other attendant health hazards.

He said, apart from plan to embark on weekly fumigation, the company handling the fumigation has also assured that the complain will reduce as soon as the fumigation begins.

Mr. Anyanwu also confirmed that the chemical use in fumigating the area was not harmful to human beings.

 

Enoch Epelle

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Sanitation Marshalls Warn Against Dumping Refuse In Gutters

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The Coordinator of Rivers
State Sanitation Marshalls, Prince Sodin Akiaba has warned residents of Port Harcourt and it environs against dumping of refuse into drainages.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, Prince Akiabo blamed uses of flooding in parts of Port Harcourt especially in the Mile III area of the indiscriminate dumping of refuse into the gutters.
He said that with the approach of the rainy season, there is need for caution on the part of the people against indiscriminate refuse disposal.
Prince Akiaba said that the situation could lead to massive flooding across the city thereby creating health problem for the people.
He said that there is need for neighbourhood vigilantees to check this situation.
“Every street in Port Harcourt should formed a vigilantee to monitor refuse disposal in their street.
“This is the only way to stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drains,” he said.
The coordinator said that the sanitation marshalls can help the government to check this trend, if approval is given to that effect by the government.
He used the occasion to commend the Rivers State Ministry of Environment and the Rivers State Environmental Sanitation Authority for the efforts in keeping the city clean, but noted that the two agencies need to work with stakeholders for effective result.

L-R: Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Environment, Mr Taofeek Folami, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello and his Information counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, at a briefing by Bello on the activities of the ministry in Lagos, recently.

L-R: Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Environment, Mr Taofeek Folami, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello and his Information counterpart, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, at a briefing by Bello on the activities of the ministry in Lagos, recently.

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NOSDRA Seeks Oil Spill Response Base

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The National Oil Spill De
tection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has called on the military to establish an Oil Spill Response Base (OSRB) for quick intervention during oil spill emergencies.
Mr Peter Idabor, the Director General of the agency, made the call during a courtesy visit to Vice Admiral Usman Jibril, the Chief of Naval Staff, in Abuja.
Idabor said the base, if established, would serve as a veritable security for quick response and intervention by the agency during oil spill emergencies.
He recalled the Bonga oil spill incident and commended the Navy for providing a vessel to NOSDRA that ensured quick response.
According to him, crises usually occurred between affected communities and companies involved during oil spill emergencies.
He said partnership with the Navy had become critical due to its role in providing security to the maritime environment.
“It has become more critical for us to partner with the Nigerian Navy, especially when it has to do with issues relating to oil spill in this country.
“When there is a large oil spill, there is usually conflict between the community and the company involved.
“In most cases, it is sabotage and in such cases, we require the military to come in at certain point.’’
He said that most of the deaths in the Niger Delta had positive correlations with oil spillage.
He explained that people were at the risk of being affected by eating food that come from such polluted environment.
He also said the life span of most Nigerians was shortening due to the effect oil spill on the ecosystem.
“The attitudes of our oil explorers, especially when spills occur, it does not bother them that over a million of chemicals are spilled into the sea, which is very dangerous to health.
“The oil spill contaminate our aquatic resources and it affects the entire food chain as long as we survive on the food chain.’’
Responding, Jibril said the Navy was familiar with the operation of the agency, adding that it would support NOSDRA to stop oil spill in the country.
He said the force was also aware of the effects of oil spill to aquatic life and the environment.
The Navy Chief also commended the agency’s cooperation with the military, saying “you have reduced spillage and its attendant effects in the country within this few days.
“We are ready to contribute to stop oil spillage and we are ready to give to you information about spillage whenever they occur.
“Our new boats that we are importing from China have facilities to contain oil spillage.’’
He however, said the delay in the release of boats to the agency was to control their misuse and advised the agency’s management to henceforth, put in its administrative request at their time of need.
He gave an assurance that the Navy would reduce administrative bottlenecks to enable the agency to access the facility during emergencies.
Jibril, however, sought the support of NOSDRA in the provision of infrastructure to the force, saying, “we need to support one another to achieve our goals.
“We have the human capital base to do what we are trained to do; what we need more is the infrastructure and we call on other organisations to support us too.’’

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N300m Debt Worries C’River Water Board

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Mr James Buchan, the
General Manager (Operations) of Cross River State Water Board, said more than N300 million owed it by various consumers in the state posed a challenge to its operations.
Buchan said this in an interview with the newsmen in Calabar last week, saying that the board was worried about the debt.
He said the board spent an average of N25 million monthly on diesel and chemicals to sustain water supply, urging the consumers who owed to settle their bills.
The general manager said that the state government paid its water bills regularly, urging the consumer’s to emulate the government by paying their bills to avoid disconnection.
Buchan further advised the consumers to always make genuine complaints about the services of the board to guarantee uninterrupted clean water supply.
The manager also urged consumers to shun illegal connection and to report to the board, those, including its staff members, who engaged in fraudulent activities.
“We want to supply to the public well treated water, we want to provide 24 hours service to the people, but we can only do this with the help of the people,’’ he said.
Buchan promised that Geographic Information System had been put in place to streamline the operations of the board and improve services.
He said the board was also worried over the damage of its pipelines worth more than N300 million by road construction companies in the state.
Buchan said the board had, however, drawn the attention of the officials of the concerned construction companies to the development.

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