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Epidemic looms as refuse heaps take over Enugu

By Lawrence Njoku, Enugu   |   31 December 2009   |   5:37 am  

The dump stands provided by the state government earlier in the year have been submerged by refuse.

A resident, Mrs. Joyce Ugwu, whose home faces one of the dump stands, told The Guardian yesterday that her household had resorted to setting the dump on fire in view of the foul smell from it.

She alleged that the dump stand had not been evacuated since the last week of November, stressing that she had personally reported the development to the Enugu State Waste Management Agency (ESWAMA).

She added: “There is serious fear that diseases might spread from these heaps and those of us who cannot contain it have decided to be setting the place on fire. On this street, everybody dumps whatever garbage he generates here and my family’s health is in danger.

“I cannot continue to wait for ESWAMA to do this and you cannot stop the residents from using the dump even when it is overflowing”.

A trader at the main market, Mr. Dennis Ikem, who also decried the development, said the agency charged with the responsibility of evacuating the refuse might have gone to sleep, even as he called on the state government to intervene in the matter.

Contacted over the development yesterday, Managing Director of ESWAMA, Ejike Dikedingbo, claimed that he was in a meeting and as such could not respond to inquiries.

But the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Frank Egwu, blamed the development on on-going routine maintenance of the agency’s operational vehicles.

Egwu assured that the refuse heaps would soon be cleared and appealed for understanding from the residents.



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