Residents of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital, have called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to look into the problem of refuse littering the streets of Uyo.
It was observed that streets like Udo Obot, Effiong Ukpong, Udi, Iboko, Akpan Essien, Ukana Offot, Ikot Abasi, Mechanic Village, Oron Road and Ikot Ekpene Road, among others, are littered with heaps of refuse as the collectors have refused to work for the past two weeks.
The residents who expressed fear over the development, appealed to the government to act urgently on the matter, noting that there could be an outbreak of epidemic in the town if urgent action is not taken.
A resident, Mrs. Caroline Essien, called on the state government to act as the uncleared refuse was defacing the state capital, while the putrid odour was making her and other residents uncomfortable.
She said, “We have to beg the government to do something about the refuse. This is an eyesore in the state capital. The odour from the refuse dumped in front of my house is offensive, we can't breathe fresh air in our house for the past two weeks now.
“God forbid an outbreak of
cholera: we all know that the effect will be disastrous. That is why we are appealing to the government to act fast”
Another resident, Mr. Gabriel Akpan, said there was need for the government and the refuse collection company to settle their differences for the sake of the residents of Uyo.
He stated, “I think the government should respond to the demands of the contractor, because for the past two weeks, the refuse has not been evacuated, it is disgusting seeing huge heaps of refuse everywhere on the streets of Uyo, the seat of the state government.
“They should consider the fact that if the refuse is not evacuated, there may be an outbreak of diseases in Uyo and the masses will be affected. Governor Udom Emmanuel should do something about it urgently”,
Investigation revealed that the waste management company contracted by the government to evacuate waste had stopped work in protest against the inability of the government to pay it.
A top official of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment who spoke on
correspondent that the contractor was being owed by the ministry, adding that, that was why the company suspended it services.
“The government owes the company; that is why it stopped work since two weeks ago. The government too is worried about the matter, we are working towards paying the contractor so that they will resume work,” the source said.
When contacted on phone, Commissioner of Environment, Dr. Iniobong Essien assured that the issue will be resolved and that the streets will be cleared soonest. Again, when contacted, the Group Managing Director of the Refuse Collection Consulting Firm, Mr. Anthony Etim confirmed that the firm had suspended services for the past few weeks, but said it would soon go back to work. “We are already on the issue and my people will be back very soon. I will just appeal to our people to bear with us; the matter will be resolved soon,” he stated.