Ilorin residents lament refuse situation, water scarcity
Heaps of refuse have taken over major streets in Ilorin as a result of the inability of Kwara Waste Management Company to evacuate garbage from waste bins since last month.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who went round the city on Tuesday reports that the bins, stationed at designated points across the city, were full to the brim, thereby forcing residents to dump refuse by the roadside and walkways.
Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN, decried the situation, saying that it portended grave danger to the people's health, as failure to evacuate the refuse could provoke an outbreak of diseases.
They said that it had become a norm for the company to abandon refuse containers by the roadside until they emitted stinking odour into the atmosphere, causing serious discomfort to the residents.
NAN reports that major areas that are mostly affected include the Oniyangi area on Emir's Road, Princess Road/Balogun Fulani Road junction, Ilorin central market, Isale Oja roundabout and Ipata market, among others.
NAN also observes the absence of workers engaged to sweep major streets, which a source attributed to the failure of the government to pay their salary arrears.
Azeez Agbomojo, a resident of the Emir's Road neighbourhood, said that the protracted failure to clear refuse by the roadside had become unbearable for most residents, as it could cause an epidemic.
He urged the waste management agency to urgently initiate measures to address the development.
According to him, no state can afford to face the consequences of a plague, particularly at a time when the citizens are facing harsh economic conditions.
Aishat Ibrahim, a trader, also warned of the consequences of abandoning refuse by the streets, saying that the situation had destroyed the reputation of Ilorin as one of the cleanest cities in the country.
"Government should know that cleanliness is next to Godliness," she added.
When NAN sought the reaction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, its Press Secretary, Gbenga Ishola, expressed regret over the delay in waste evacuation in the city.
He pledged that the ministry would address the issue in due course.
Also, residents of Ilorin and its environs are groaning following perennial water scarcity which has resurfaced in the city.
NAN reports that the residents of Ilorin town would have to walk a distance to fetch water for drinking and for other domestic use.
Many residents, NAN gathers, are sourcing water from motorized borehole drilled by the privileged individuals in their areas.
Some residents at Emir's road, Balogun Fulani, Taiwo road, Okelele, Gambari and Baboko among others told NAN that the pitiable situation had become a recurrence decimal in the Kwara capital.
They asserted that the state government was doing little to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
"No sooner that dry season sets in; we begin to experience water scarcity in earnest.
"It has become a perennial experience that government will need to urgently address with short and long term measures", Ronke Asekunlowo told NAN.
Oba La'aro, a staff of the University of Ilorin, decried situation where water supply in the capital was receding into a village size supply.
According to him, substantial number of the residents would have to troop out in search of water every morning and evening.
Abdulrazaq Akorede, the state Commissioner for Water Resource, while reacting said the problem of water shortage in Ilorin would soon be resolved once the ongoing water reticulation project is completed.
He expressed optimism that with the level of works done so far, the project would be completed in the next four to five months.
The commissioner, however, lamented that some facilities of the water project were being destroyed by some vandals, which he said was affecting the progress of the project.
He explained that both the state and the federal governments had carried out interventions on some water projects in the state.
According to him, there was an ongoing expansion of Malete waterworks and Agba Dam waterworks, which is almost completed.
The construction of the Malete waterworks, he said, was facilitated by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and would be completed soon and inaugurated.
He added that the state government would also work on the Oyun waterworks.
He said that the government appreciated the patience of people of the state while the project lasts.