Epidemic looms in Enugu community over contamination of stream
Etiti Ozalla community in Nkanu West Local Council of Enugu State has raised the alarm over a looming epidemic in the area by the contamination of Ufam River by wastes from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla and activities of herdsmen.
The Guardian gathered yesterday that the river, which crisscrossed five communities of Ishi-Ozalla, Obeagwu-Ozalla, Umuanne, Okoruba and Etiti-Ozalla is the only source of potable water for the communities. Although it is less than 10 minutes drive from Enugu town, it has neither seen nor had pipe-borne water.
Traditional ruler of the community, Donald N. Nwochi told officials of the Voice to the People (V2P) initiative, a project of the Christian aid with support from UKaid, who visited the community, that the people are desirous of portable water.
The monarch, who led the team to the source of the river, lamented that the level of offensive smell oozing from the stream, attributing it to water “used in batting dead bodies and other clinical wastes from the hospital.
When contacted, the Chief Public Relations Officer of UNTH, Mr. Cyril Keleze, said he was not aware that the community has made any formal complaint to the hospital over the development. He stated however that the hospital would verify to ascertain to truth about the situation and would act accordingly.
Keleze, who said the hospital, had maintained cordial relationship with its host communities also asked the leadership of the community, “to forward any complaints of water contamination to the management, since we may not have observed this latest development as we had in the past taken care of such reports.”
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