Emerging slum/dumpsite worries Surulere residents
In the recent past, Surulere Local Council used to be adjuged the cleanest council in the state. But emerging scenario seem to suggest that it may have lost that title, or is in the process of doing so. One of the reasons the situation is changing is the sad and appalling emergence of dumpsites in different locations, with the one on Ogulana Extension, off Cele Bus Stop being an example.
The place popularly known as Bola by residents of the area has not only become an eyesore, it also poses dire health and security risks to residents of the area. This dumpsite started cropping up years back, but in 2013 when offensive odour started oozing out of it and fears of an imminent epidemic outbreak began to mount, the debris was cleared and sanity returned.
However, the failure of authorities to keep an eye on the place has seen the site return to its old state, even though the bulk of what is now heaped there is plastic waste, as well as, metal and aluminium scraps. A resident, who identified herself as Miss Peace Delight said, “after the place was cleared in 2013, we were happy that the government had come to our rescue, but recently, we found out that people have started dumping refuse there again.”
Apart from the fact that it betrays the athetics of the community, properties in the immediate surrounding are getting devalued as no one wants to battle pungent odour wafting into his/her residence.Another resident of the area, Ebere Ignatius, a Junior Secondary School (JSS 3) student said, “I do not feel comfortable with the dirt being disposed here because it is directly at the back of my house. Secondly, the dirty environment has attracted rodents and insects of all kinds to our neighbourhood. In addition to this, the refuse dump has made the environment look very untidy, which does not speak well of the community.”
He appealed to the state government to come to their aid in order to prevent dire health consequences. Chief Ikechukwu Otuonye, a landlord in the area, who is bothered that Bola is beginning to lose its characteristics said, “The place has also become a den of fraudsters, who always lurk around the desolate area looking for easy preys to scam.”
His wife, Lolo (Mrs) Chinyere Otuonye, and another resident, Mr. Philip Emeka, regretted that because of the burgeoning dumpsite, even the private cleaners hired by individual landords of houses bordering the dumpsite have walked away because of the volume of work that they now have to do. But for the Chairman of Ogulana Community Development Association, and the Adeyemi of Ijesha, Alhaji Tejumo Ogulana, “the place is not an illegal dumpsite. What you see there is not dirt, but just cans, plastic and rubber wares that can be recycled.”
He, however, admitted that the presence of the dump makes “the place look untidy and unhealthy.”He assured that the materials would not stay there forever as there were plans to clean up the place.Other residents who spoke to The Guardian called on the state government to swiftly intervene and rid the area of the debris.
According to them, if stuffs found at the site are considered to be of any economic importance to those warehousing them there, they should be neatly and properly arranged in order for them not to constitute a nuisance.