Friday, February 23, 2024

Stakeholders fear disease outbreak as refuse takes over Osogbo, other major towns

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

If the Osun State Government doesn’t impose sanity on environment and except the general public repentsfrom dumping refuse indiscriminately, Osogbo, the state capital, and other major towns in the state may be in for disease outbreaks of epidemic proportions.

Mountains of refuse at strategic locations, open defecation, blocked canals and smelly water have been visible features in many parts of these towns.

Checks by The Point showed that rotten food and crop items from the market, bottles, plastics, domestic wastes, and assorted refuse are gathered in heaps at Odi-Olowo, Isale-Aro, Oke-Baale, Ona Baba Ona, Oke-Ayepe, Ogo-Oluwa, Oke-Fia areas of Osogbo.

It was gathered that residents of the state capital engaged in indiscriminate dumping of waste at roadsides, median, gutters, canals and inside bushes.

Our correspondent sighted some housewives along Sasa-OSBC road throwing out refuse from moving vehicles and on motorcycles, thus causing the refuse to scatter over the areas. Some residents are fond of visiting some places at night to drop bagged waste oozing offensive odour.

In some areas visited, including Odi-Olowo and Olaiya areas, some traders, workers and passersby seemed to have been accustomed to the horrible stench and terrible air pollution from the waste as they went about their daily routines while others who couldn’t bear the smell blocked their nostrils while passing through the areas.

Although officials of the Osun State Waste Management Agency and some private waste disposal operators move around Osogbo among other major towns to pack the heaps of refuse once a while, it was gathered that most wastes are not cleared for days.

Some residents of Osogbo are used to open defecation while others dump waste into canals.

Expressing fear over possible environmental danger, a civil society organisation, Transparency and Accountability Group, called the attention of the Osun State Government to what it described as the increasing dirtiness of Osogbo, the state capital.

According to the group, Osogbo is fast becoming the dirtiest state capital, going by the unclean state of major roads and streets.

Spokesperson for the group, Ayo Ologun, disclosed that every major road in the state capital had become an eyesore due to the heaps of refuse littering the roads.

He admonished the state government to enlighten the citizens and enforce the law guiding sanitation in the state.

He said, “A visit through Ogo Oluwa, Jaleyemi Junction through Igbona and Stadium on a daily basis is an eyesore and a bad depiction of a capital city.

“First is the orientation of the populace and then enforcement of the law guiding sanitation in the state. We must be deliberate about a clean society. It is an antidote to sickness and pandemic.”

In Ilesa, residents of Odo-Iro area complained about the smelly canal close to the park, saying that the stinking water had been polluting the air and threatening their healthy living.

Residents of the state attributed the dirtiness of the roads to the absence of social workers while other stakeholders blamed some residents who indulged in indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

The state government had on February 16, 2023, cancelled the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme whose beneficiaries included the social workers responsible for packing dirt on the road and replaced the scheme with Imole Youth Corps, which has not commenced operations since then.

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