By Mutiat Olushola
Abandoned buildings which served as refuse dump in Ilorin metropolis and other parts of the state are to be demolished by the Kwara State Government soon.
Speaking on age-long refuse dump sites in Ilorin, including those in abandoned buildings, the General Manager of Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency, Oba Sunday Adefila noted that government would not hesitate to demolish the structures harbouring them, including those erected over five decades ago.
The KWEPA boss who made this known while speaking with our reporter in Ilorin, yesterday however stated that the state government is not financially buoyant to evacuate illegal heaps of refuse in some core areas of Ilorin, including those at the backyard of the Balogun Gambari, Okelele, Pakata and Agbo-Oba area amongst others.
Oba Adefila however assured that within the next three to four days, refuse dumps accumulated after the Eid-el Kabir celebration across the state’s legal dump sites would be evacuated.
“The issue of waste collection is a timeless job, immediately you evacuate one, more are disposed. Our people are working, but this is just a continuous work and we will continue to do it as long as fund is available for it”, he said.
He stressed further that the agency has sensitised residents of the state to patronise commercial waste evacuators to reduce pressure on the government and to complement the efforts of the present administration in keeping the state clean and safe.
According to the KWEPA boss, private waste evacuators have been directed to collaborate with waste producers to complement efforts of the state government in collecting and disposing refuse across the state.
While frowning at illegal waste disposals even in the Government Reserved Areas (GRA), Adefila, who is also the Oloreke of Oke-Igbo in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, warned Kwarans to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages while it rains, to prevent blockages and flooding.
He also reminded them of the Agency’s mobile court on illegal refuse disposal, which he said is still very effective.
Meanwhile, a Professor of the Department of Public Health, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kayode Osagbemi has described heaps of refuse as threat to human health, adding that it also constitutes nuisance to the society.
Osagbemi, who also spoke with National Pilot yesterday, pointed out that Lassa fever, cholera and other vector-borne diseases are inevitable if the refuse are not evacuated on time.
According to him, heaps of refuse harbour mosquitoes, flies, rodents, snakes and sharp objects, which he noted are all dangerous to human health.
In some illegal refuse dump sites visited yesterday, residents of the areas lamented government’s neglect; a situation they claimed had led to continuous rancour between them and those coming from other areas to dispose their refuse on the sites.
A resident of Agbo-Oba, who simply identified herself as Iya Busayo Oni Beske, said she had at several times engaged in arguments with residents of other areas who had turned a site near her residence to a refuse dump.
She also stressed the need for people of the area to contribute substantial amount of money to engage the service of commercial waste collectors to keep the environment clean since the state government appears not buoyant enough.