Environmental authorities of the Nasarawa State government have been urged to quickly clear the huge refuse dump directly opposite a popular school, Leadway Academy, at Double Pole area of New Nyanya, which they said was posing a serious health risk to residents and students as well as guests of a nearby hotel.
New Nyanya is a developing settlement just a few kilometers from Abuja, the nation’s capital and is inhabited by many civil servants who work in Abuja city center as well as private sector workers and business owners.
A visit by our reporter to Leadway Academy school at Double Pole area showed that the refuse dump which exudes very bad odour was rapidly covering the street to the school and the entire neighbourhood, and is not only expanding everyday but has also turned into a spot for open defecation for both human beings and animals to the discomfort of passersby as well as worshippers at the Kingdom Might Ministry church which is said to own the plot of land.
The real ownership of the land was, however, not independently ascertained at the time of filing this report.
Many people were seen throwing bags of refuse into the dump site.
Just behind the refuse dump, scores of brewers of the local beer, Burukutu, operate, with many others selling beer, food and pepper soup. The Burukutu joints and Kingdom Might church battle for space with the rancid dump, from where flies in large numbers emerge to feed on open items.
Residents who spoke to LEADERSHIP in the area said in the spirit of the state government’s effort to keep the state clean, sanitation officials should quickly move to the area and ensure that owners of the plot of land take urgent action to clear the refuse to avert health risks.
A resident, Mr Dickson Kiom, told our reporter that the health of his children was at risk as they pass the refuse dump daily to school and other places and sometimes pick objects from the dump. He suggested collective efforts by the Leadway school, Hero Hotel and Kingdom Might Ministry to urgently clear the refuse, which is expanding daily.
Another resident, Haruna Yakubu, said the existence of such a large refuse site was an embarrassment to the state government, which had been campaigning for clean environment with the monthly environmental sanitation exercise. He said sanitation officials should visit the area and take necessary measures to ensure sanity.
A student of Leadway School who did not wish her name mentioned said she was ashamed to identify with her school because of the refuse site.
“I can’t allow my friends to know where I go to school, I am ashamed they may come visiting me one day and see this huge, smelling refuse dump. I want them to clear it quickly,” she said.
Her call was re-echoed by many of her mates who spoke with our reporter.
Some parents of pupils in the school also complained of the health risk posed to their children and urged the authorities to act on it quickly.
A worshipper at the Kingdom Might Ministry church said: “Sometimes we are in church and we would see some people defecating at the refuse dump, it’s too bad.”
Guests at Hero Hotel also complained of stench from the dump site right at the hotel premises and urged the state’s sanitation officials to quickly act on it.