People living in Calabar, Cross River state have lamented over the huge refuse dumps across the city, expressing fear that it could lead to a disease outbreak in the city.
Raising the concerns through media organisations in the state, the residents appealed to the state government to authorise the immediate and sanitary evacuation of the mounting wastes.
Phone-in callers in four private radio stations Friday morning lamented the mountains of refuse in Calabar South part of the capital.
They criticised the state government for allowing the town, which used to be the cleanest in the country become the dirtiest.
Out of ten callers on a radio program on Sparkling FM, Calabar, eight said the government was insensitive to the health of residents, warning that the outbreak of cholera, Lassa fever, and malaria was imminent
Sylvester Akpan, a resident said “Everywhere you turn now in Calabar South, you cannot escape mountains of dirt. At Mbukpa market, it has completely blocked the access road and the market women who sell by the roadsides sit on top of the wastes.
“There are no major streets in Calabar that refuse have not taken over and the officials from the ministry of environment or Calabar Urban Development Authority have not bothered to act.”
Another caller, a teacher with a private school, Mrs Stella Ekpenyong said “We should expect outbreaks of contagious diseases in no time as pipe-borne water has been polluted already.”
An Efik community leader, Etubom Effiom Walter, who expressed anger, said the government was not paying attention to environmental sanitation like previous administrations.
But a senior official of the state ministry of environment who spoke to DAILY POST under anonymity said the task of evacuating the refuse is no longer directly within the purview of the ministry.
“The state government has since contracted the evacuation to private persons.
“For instance, it is alleged that the Governor’s family member has the contract but who knows whether he has paid the people working for him. Whenever refuse mounts in Calabar, know that the contractors are owed. As a ministry, we have no power to question the governor’s brother or special persons handling such contracts.
However, the Commissioner for Environment, Mfon Bassey has assured residents that the refuse would be cleared before next week.