People clearing up a dumpsite

Dumpsite: Uyo Residents Fight Against Stench


Uyo residents have raised concerns over the smell emanating from the state dumpsite, claiming it is posing a health threat to them. Those most affected worked at the government house, Wellington Bassey Way, the state judiciary headquarters, and Uyo Local Council Secretariat, all located along Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo.

Despite an intervention late last month after a public outcry over the heaps of trash that were being seen in all parts of the state capital, the refuse heaps have begun to pile up again.

The dumpsite, which is located inside a ravine along the Uyo village road, came into usage after it had been relocated from the previous site that was located near a residential area, where its stench had become toxic and the government was forced to fund the relocation of some residents whose health was affected.

Although it had signed an MOU with a private company for the relocation to a more convenient location far away from the city, nothing has been done in that regard as the stench is still inconveniencing the surrounding offices.

The Uyo village road, where the dumpsite is located has been reduced to a track that is barely enough for a single vehicle to pass as waste trucks dump the refuse that has been collected from various parts of the city along the road. It was observed that the delay by the Akwa Ibom State Waste Management Board in evacuating waste has raised several health concerns in the state.

It was later revealed that most of these sites are without receptacles, especially in poor residential areas, such as Atiku Abubakar Avenue, Ikot Ekpene road, Itu-Calabar road, Ikot Ambang, Itam market, IBB way, Nwaniba road, Obio Imoh street, among others.

Mr. Ernest Udoh-Robert, a resident of Afaha Ube and the State Publicity Secretary Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), said that: “It is unfortunate that a state adjudged to be the cleanest for four consecutive years could allow the capital city to be overtaken by filth and the air saturated with stench. But a senior official of the State Environmental and Sanitation Management Agency, who preferred anonymity, said that the high price of diesel has been affecting their operations. He explained that they are planning to hire the necessary equipment needed to evacuate accumulated refuse as a cost-saving measure.

“Our problem is diesel. The high cost of diesel is affecting our evacuation machinery. But we are waiting to evacuate it during a sanitation exercise this weekend. You know we have trucks but we hire most of the other equipment needed for the evacuation like bulldozers and compactors once a month. So since the government is the one subsidizing us we intend to use the opportunity of this weekend’s sanitation exercise to utilize that other equipment that government will hire to evacuate the refuse although in some areas we are already evacuating.”