… As residents of Kwata, Eke Awka, Amikwo, Obunagu, Emma Nnnemeka Decry Negligence by ASWAMA
At the entrance of Kwata Junction, along Court Road in the heart of the Awka Capital City, what could be termed hazardous to the health of the citizenry in the midst of broken bottles, used plastic, dirty nylons, and rags, were seen, as residents blamed the Anambra State Waste Management Agency, ASWAMA, for negligence, with the stench of waste and rubbish engulfing the atmosphere, reports Adejumoke Alebiosu.
Jeremiah Emeka, a 53-year-old trader, who spoke to Fides at the Kwata Market, revealed that the disgusting odour caused by the abandoned thrash caused low patronage as most customers could not stand the offensive smell.
He said, ‘There is nothing we can do when there is no proper waste management. This is not the first time we are publicly appealing to the Management of ASWAMA to be consistent with clearing this garbage but they are deliberately nonchalant.
‘The truth is that if the government fails to carry out its responsibility, there is little the masses can do.’
Also, at the entrance of Emma Nnaemeka Street, just opposite Cihcotel Hotel, Awka, Fides observed a neglected refuse dump that has, continued to polluted the entire area. Blaming ASWAMA for what he tagged negligence of duty, a food seller simply known as Ogodo, told Fides that the situation had affected his business as customers no longer stopped to buy food, owing to the filthiness of the environment.
‘Some people have stayed in this environment for so long that they do not care about any health hazard any longer,’ Ogodo said, waving his hands in helpless resignation.
‘They really care less about those things now. Survival is first and most important,’ he said.
Awka, known as the heart of Anambra State, is one of the most vibrant cities in Eastern Nigeria. Residents of the city are renowned for their enterprising spirit and commercial endeavours, making the city one of Nigeria’s foremost productivity hubs.
Fides discovered that Awka is surrounded by numerous markets, among which is the popular Eke Awka Market which also has its fair share of abandoned thrash filled to the brim.
Reacting, a staff member of ASWAMA who pleaded anonymity, told Fides that the situation at Eke Awka was as a result of significant commercial activities, which, he said, came with heavy waste in the market. He, however, noted that due to poor disposal system in the market, waste and rubbish generated by traders and commuters in the market were dumped indiscriminately around, adding that over the years, the waste had become a permanent feature of the market, exposing traders and passers-by to environmental hazards.
He expressed displeasure over the environmental sanitation status of Awka, noting that in spite of government’s efforts, the state capital still remained dirty.
Fides investigations across Awka revealed that too many strategic roads, markets and streets in the commercial city are littered with rubbish, dirt, and fecal matter. Fides moved through dirty spots at strategic places, including Ukwu-Oji; Goodwill Road; Okponu; Obunagu; Amikwo; Gbalimigba Road, close to Central Police Station; as well as the popular Eke Nibo Market.