The OYO State Government has expressed worry over the growing heaps of refuse dumps in some strategic locations in the Ibadan metropolis. The Government blamed this revolting sight of indiscriminately dumped refuse on people’s attitude to waste collection and disposal, saying that it is working on various projects and robust proposals to convert waste generated into energy.
Almost all medians on major roads in the city are lined up with bags of refuse. The sight is unbearable on the major roads leading into the city. with Areas like Monatan, Old Ife Road, Ojoo Road, Iwo Road and Sango-Poly Road being the worst hit by the problem.
Commissioner for Environment Ishola Isaac Adisa described the situation as unfortunate. He pointed out that the problem government has is in the enforcement of existing environmental laws due to the poor attitude of the people towards waste collection and disposal.
“The (state) government has so much interest in what is happening in the environment. In fact, nobody wants a safe and clean environment more than the government, because it will attract investors and guarantee an environment. free from illness and disease. Therefore the government has taken so many pro-active measures to ensure a safe environment for citizens to live in, but the problem is that our people are not ready to comply with the rules and regulations for a healthy environment.
“The obligation of the people towards the environment is that everybody must not drop their waste anywhere, other than the designated areas and everybody must pay for the evacuation of the waste generated.
“The government has put in place an arrangement to make our people accept responsibility for the waste they are generating – an arrangement that will enumerate the number of houses in Ibadan and which will make everybody get private waste collectors,” he said.
According to the commissioner, the government has already accredited about 400 private waste collectors to ensure that all the refuse dumps were cleared without causing a health hazard to the people.
He explained that private waste collectors are already allocated to every street and area, adding that individual residents would have to pay a token for the government, who will pay waste collectors for the services rendered.
In the area of enforcement, Adisa noted that the government is planning to establish Neighbourhood Watches to monitor people, in each community, who drop waste illegally.
He said: “We are to engage the sanitation environmental officers and as I am talking to you, the governor has approved the engagement of these officers.
“They will wear uniforms and we will station them in strategic locations to see and monitor people dumping waste indiscriminately on major roads. For now, the governor has approved 300 sanitation officers to be engaged. A mobile task force that will include some security agencies will be patrolling the streets to ensure that we have strict compliance.”
The commissioner, who called on the people to stop dumping waste on the roads, warned that the government would henceforth prosecute offenders.
He added that the government had already constituted 10 environmental court tribunals and they would soon begin sitting to prosecute anyone found violating environmental laws.