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Abuja residents helpless as refuse dumps, cow dung take over FCT

Residential neighborhoods within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are increasingly becoming inhospitable due to the proliferation of refuse dumps, raising concerns about public health and environmental degradation.

A recent survey conducted in areas such as Karu Site, Jikwoyi, Kurudu, Kubwa, Gwarinpa, and Utako, all under the jurisdiction of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), revealed not only indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents and cart pushers but also the absence of proactive measures by government agencies responsible for maintaining cleanliness in the FCT.

Residents are observed dumping water sachets, used cans, and other garbage indiscriminately across the city center, resulting in towering “mountains” of refuse heaps left unattended for several weeks. These heaps encroach upon available spaces and, in some instances, obstruct roads, posing significant health and livelihood risks to residents.

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, through the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and AMAC, is tasked with addressing the growing refuse crisis. Environment experts warn that improper garbage disposal poses threats such as vector-borne diseases, air and water pollution, and food safety risks.

Residents, including Beatrice Nwaneka of Utako and Sheyi of First Avenue, lament the irregularity of waste collection services, leading to unbearable stench and unsanitary conditions in their neighborhoods. Commercial activities are also affected, with businesses like Abu Farouq’s fast food shop experiencing declines in customers due to adjacent dump sites.

According to Mrs. Josephine Peni, Deputy Director of Information at the AEPB, refuse dumps are supposed to be evacuated thrice weekly. However, challenges persist, including the activities of scavengers, commonly known as “Baban Bola,” and herdsmen, who pose environmental and security threats in the FCT.

While efforts are underway to address these challenges, collaboration between the AEPB and security agencies is deemed essential to safeguard public health and restore cleanliness to the streets of Abuja.

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