A stroll round Warri urban will attest to the fact that there is a crucial problem of uncleanliness which requires an immediate and crucial response to avert an imminent outbreak of epidemic. Indeed many residents of Warri feel that they are presently sitting on a keg of health hazard which if not properly handled will unleash an untold health emergency on the city.
The indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the pavements of major roads by resident calls for concern, especially as such dumped refuse remained there for days and even serving as landmarks. The situation was made worse by the recent strike by local government staff as residents took advantage of the absence of regulatory officials to dump refuse indiscriminately without considering the attendant health implications.
Worried by the state of filthiness of Warri, the immediate past administration of Emmanuel Uduaghan constituted a high-powered committee led by his erstwhile deputy to commence a thorough cleaning of Warri and destruction of illegal structures. But the venture to clean up Warri was short-lived even after spending a fortune on it.
Now, Warri is back to its dirty ways, with repugnant and petrifying smell assaulting the noses of those living and doing business there. Particularly culpable for this unenviable situation are restaurant operators and abattoir outfits as they routinely empty wastes into drainage channels. A typical example is a pig abattoir along Cemetery Road.
Also considered offenders are virtually all eateries in Warri and landlords who link their sewage into major drainage channels. Those in a position to know have even attributed the recent fall in health standard to this problem.
Irked by this, Mr. Sunny Nikoro, Promoter of the upcoming Warri Carnival said: “This is madness and we want it to stop. This is one of the reasons we are calling for re-orientation and re-education of our people. How can a sane person dump refuse on the pavement of a tarred road? It is witchcraft and perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.
“We call on the state government to step up action to arresting this situation before we wake up and find everyone is dead.” Mr. Lucky Egboyi,a Warri based legal practitioner, while also condemning the situation said: “I see it from the angle of irresponsibility on the part of the citizens; they dump refuse everywhere. Again it is natural for human beings to want to behave in a lawless manner that is why we have law .
“We have commissions for all these things and we have a body that is saddled with the responsibility to take care of our environment, that is the Environmental Protection Agency.
“They have that duty but unfortunately as we have noticed as part of failure of government from all angle that body is not doing its work. That body has failed completely to discharge its statutory duty. “All the Delta State Environmental Protection Agency do is to collect money from people,harass people here and there and get away. It is evidence of failure on the part of government. Citizens are not doing their bit and government is not playing its role. Government should be more alive to its responsibilities, let them discharge their duties.”
Also, Mr. Collins Tuoyo, another Warri-based legal practitioner said: “As a matter of fact, refuse dumps have over taken every part of Warri and I blame that on the government. “The government knows that refuse is generated everyday and there is no adequate arrangement or provision that as to where people are to dump their refuse.
“In my area in Ubeji, time there was when DESOPADEC made provision for where people are to dump their refuse and in most parts of Warri. But that provision is no longer there; I wonder where the wastes are going to now. “The wastes are dumped on vacant lands in Ubeji and all of that, to me, is really an eyesore if you really want to see what I’m talking about, go to areas like Cemetery Road, McCiver market and other places.
“Almost every part of Warri is full of refuse and I blame the government largely for it; government is not doing enough; it is the responsibility of the government to manage waste.”