Residents of Kubwa, a satellite town in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory have been lamenting the continuous dumping of refuse in their community, saying this has become a health hazard to them.
For a while they have had to contend with a heap of refuse which is also few metres away from a private school.
Staffs of the school complained about the daily practice of burning the refuse in the afternoon.
They described the state of the atmosphere and the smell from the refuse, both of which make learning difficult for the pupils.
Asides the health hazards, the refuse site has also become home to scavengers and this, according to the residents, makes it a security threat.
But the chairman of Bwari Area Council, Mr Musa Dikko, explained that the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has taken over the responsibility of clearing the refuse.
He also charged the residents to take the responsibility of stopping indiscriminate dumping of refuse within their area.
One of the major problems confronting the Federal Capital Territory today is perhaps that of environmental management.
Measures put in place to ensure a clean, healthy and aesthetic environment in the FCT has not yielded much fruit. One of such efforts by the government was the establishment of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in 1987 with the sole responsibility of ensuring a clean and healthy environment in the FCT.
For some reasons, the efforts of the Board have not really yielded the expected result. Perhaps due to lack of required equipment to carry out their job effectively and the nonchalant attitude of some residents in handling the waste they generate on a daily basis.
Wastes are generated faster than they are collected, transported and disposed. The attitude of FCT residents towards environmental protection is still questionable.
Residents and passersby litter the streets and roads indiscriminately. In the federal capital city today, our roads are constantly littered with all kinds of wastes ranging from papers, pure water sachets, used cans and wraps for sweets and biscuits and others.
Commuters throw out pure water sachets, food wrappers, cans or rubber through the windows of moving vehicles. The implication of this is filthy environment and the safety of our health is at stake.
Indiscriminate waste disposal does not contribute in any way to the beauty of the FCT environment; rather it messes up the place, which costs the federal government fortunes to clean.
In June 2013, The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, said that it had certified 22 concessionaires to handle the waste collection responsibilities in the Area Councils and Satellite Towns in the Nigerian capital.
The then Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, said in a meeting with the leadership of the Trade Union Congress, FCT Council, that the area councils and satellite towns had already been delineated into 22 lots for the purpose of daily waste collection from households in the councils.