Benue links cholera outbreak to open defecation, arbitrary burials
Benue State Government has attributed the recent outbreak of cholera and other communicable diseases to open defecation and possible pollution of underground waters by burials in residential areas.
The Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Dondo Ahire, who declared this yesterday to The Guardian in Makurdi, expressed disgust that in the 21st century, many households lacked toilet facilities.
Ahire said the ministry had strengthened its task force on open defecation and advised those still practising it to desist or be ready to face the law.
The commissioner intimated that the government was working out plans to open a cemetery for the public, to checkmate cases of water pollution occasioned by decomposing corpses.
“Our dead bodies are buried indiscriminately within the residences and this does not go well with us. The corpse decomposes and circulates into our water system, causing outbreak of diseases,” Ahire stated.
Meanwhile, due to the dry season, water scarcity has hit different communities in the state.
The Guardian gathered that worst hit areas include Wadata, North Bank, High Level, Agber Village, Lobi Quarters, Mount Saint Gabriel’s College, Kwararafa Quarters and Idye communities in Makurdi, among others.
But Ahire said very soon the water scarcity would be a thing of the past, as government has entered into agreement with development partners to check the ugly situation.
According to him, at least $55 million is required to complete work on the reticulation of water from the greater Makurdi Water works.
Before Governor Samuel Ortom came into office, the water situation was more pathetic, the commissioner said, noting that “the situation has improved” as broken pipes had been replaced.
The water scarcity is forcing residents to carry buckets and jerry cans in search of water.