Delta state commissioner for environment, Chris Onogba, has advised all residents in Asaba to stop illegal dumping of wastes, procure waste bins and patronise the private sector participants for organised refused disposal.
Chief Onogba gave the advice when the ministry of environment in conjunction with the state waste management board organised payloaders to evacuate heavy refuse dumps by residents of Bonsaac area in Asaba, the Delta state capital.
At the evacuation site, the environment commissioner said dumping refuse indiscriminately is not only a mess but it endangers the health of residents as there could be an outbreak of epidemics.
He said: “Look around this area, how do you have this amount of waste in a residential area? It will affect the health of the people. I must tell you, what you see here is a tip of the iceberg. If you go round this area, you will see pockets of illegal dumps everywhere.
“The consciousness of clean environment is not in our people. We will do enlightenment and we will also talk to them. The earlier we imbibe the consciousness of clean environment, the better for us. They don’t want to patronise PSPs, this is wrong.”
The commissioner listed three procedures which the ministry will undertake before a defaulter will be charged for violation of environmental laws. He mentioned evacuation, sensitisation and enforcement of sanitation laws.
He said violators of sanitation laws will be made to either pay the prescribed fine by law or go to prison if convicted. He said the payment is between N5000 and N50000, depending on gravity of offense.
Chief Onogba said every resident should provide waste bins in their homes to collect all refuse for onward disposal at recommended places.
Director of sanitation and waste management, Lucky Adeh who was on ground to supervise the waste evacuation, said residents of the area do not patronise the PSPs.
He decried the unbecoming attitude of the people to waste disposal, saying “if you go round this area, you will see illegal dumps of wastes littering the environment.”
Some of the residents who spoke to journalists commended the state government for the exercise. They believe that the exercise will go a long way to rid the area of refuse waste its attendant environmental hazards.