Residents and motorists in Owerri, the capital of Imo State, are experiencing difficulties due to the massive garbage heaps that have taken over major roads and streets in the State.
Saga Gist observed that some of the major roads in Owerri have been turned to dumpsters, with heaps of refuse on all sides of the roads.
After touring the city of Owerri, our correspondent reports that the road medians at some part of Douglas Road, Okigwe Road around Orji axis to mention but a few now “play host” to foul garbage that “welcomes visitors”.
From Douglas Road near Onumiri, Edede, Rotobi/School, Ekeonuwa Market/St Paul’s, Chukwuma Nwoha, and other roads, wastes that were dispersed by the wind serve as “decorations.”
When visited parts of the municipal area on Thursday, it was discovered that some residents have resolved to either burn their wastes or dump them at the centre of the roads or inside waterways.
Some residents, who pleaded anonymity, said ever since Hon. Mrs. Kate Osigwe, who was in charge of the Road Sweepers resigned, nobody had come to their streets to pick up trash, adding that they now disposed of wastes on major roads at midnight.
It was also discovered that a portion of the roads around Chukwuma Nwoha toward the Egbu Road, the Orji axis of the Okigwe Road, and Edede by Douglas have been permanently transformed into dumpsters.
Visits to the Owerri metropolis’ neighbourhoods of Egbeada, Orlu-Owerri Road, and Human Kingdom Estate revealed that ISWAMA had left garbage heaps unevacuated.
Prince Oti, the Chairman of Human Kingdom Estate, explained how they always raised money and hired vehicles to remove garbage heaps within their domain.
Barr. Kelechi Emekaraoha, the then-Managing Director of ISWAMA told journalists at some point last year that his Agency would soon expand its operation to every part of the State, a promise that was not kept.
A vendor at the Ekeukwu Owerri market named Maryanne Obi reported that people in the neighbourhood dump their trash at midnight.
Kelechi Ekene, a commercial cab driver on the IMSU Chukwuma route, bemoaned the fact that most bin collectors on the roadways are overflowing with trash.
He claimed that some cart pushers who work along that axis also throw trash out on the road.
A resident around Douglass by Edede, identified as Mr Chinedu Gold lamented that the situation had forced the people of the area to start relocating, adding that residents had resorted to shutting their doors and windows permanently in order to avoid the bad smell.
He said the situation, if not controlled, may get worse during rainfalls.
Sen Hope Uzodinma, the Governor of Imo State, recently reacted to the ugly development by expressing his concern over the indiscriminate dumping of trash and garbage on the State’s highways and streets.
The Governor issued the warning as he delivered the Imo State Waste Management Agency nine refuse trucks and five waste disposal buckets.
The Governor stated in his brief remarks at the presentation that the purchase of the equipment is an improvement over the current ones being utilised by the Agency (ISWAMA) in carrying out its mission to bring Imo State back to its illustrious past as one of the Federation’s cleanest States.
He said that “the State Capital and its surroundings have been steadily growing cleaner by the Agency’s efforts, while it is still work in progress.”
He pledged that his government will support the Agency by providing all the equipment needed to keep Owerri and other areas of the State as clean as possible.
“ISWAMA will be granted autonomy to allow them to create their own revenue and resources and be able to maintain the goods and equipment they are working with, soon, through legislation,” Governor Uzodinma assured.
Governor Uzodinma proceeded to commission the trucks and the waste buckets.
However, residents are yet to see the result of that effort by the government, with the situation getting worse by the day.