By Olayiwola Sodiq
From Sango overhead bridge down to Oju-Ore axis of the Idiroko road, the prevalence of heaps of refuse dump sites seems to be on the increase every passing day. This is even as residents have lamented that not much is being done by the responsible authority to evacuate refuse speedily in Sango-Ota and its environs.
When Nigerian NewsDirect moved around Sango over-headbridge, it was observed that many uncleared refuse dumps lay beside the bridge. This refuse, according to road users, were wastes dumped by the road side by many of the traders selling around the busy roundabout underneath the bridge.
According to a commercial bus operator, Mr. Sulaimon Obanla, “much of this refuse is dumped on the roads by the traders under the cover of darkness (at nights) or early in the morning because there are no waste disposal cans placed in strategic places by the authorities.
“We commercial drivers find it difficult to blame these traders when they dump waste on the road sides because even government has not helped their cause by not placing large waste disposal cans in strategic places at the busy Sango bus-stop.
“So what most of them do is to gather their waste in bits during the day, and throw them on the road side when it is late in the night. That is why when the rains fall, the drainages are blocked, and there is flooding everywhere.
“It is because when it rains, the waste is then washed into the open drainages, which then goes on to block these drainages, thereby making it impassable for water.
Aside the presence of heaps of refuse around the Sango overhead bridge, further findings also revealed heaps of refuse along the median separating the Idiroko road into two lanes. The heaps of refuse were located in distance from each other along the Idiroko road from Sango to Oju-Ore.
“In the words of Mr. Uchea Azuna, a trader who sells shoes along the Idiroko road, “Traders do cleaning of their surroundings every Thursday. This cleaning is supervised by the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government officials.
“However, after such cleaning, much of the waste is carried away by waste disposal trucks or vans belonging to the local government. Sometimes, it is a private arrangement, but the problem is consistency in waste evacuation by these trucks or vans.
“Sometimes, the trucks or vans expected to carry the waste don’t come around in weeks. When some of our people expect them and don’t see them, that’s when you will start seeing heaps of refuse by the roadside.
“During environmental sanitation days, that’s on Thursdays, you will see the waste evacuation people around. But that does not mean they come every day. Sometimes, it is once in a week thing, that is every Thursdays; but we traders gather waste everyday, and need to dispose them of.
“We cannot keep waste in our shops, neither are there waste disposal cans located in Sango where we can empty our refuse. So when we have so much waste, and we don’t see the waste people, some of us burn our refuse. Maybe some throw them into the drainage, but I know most of us burn our refuse. “
When Nigerian NewsDirect got to the Toll Gate axis of the Lagos-Abeokuta express road, the heaps of refuse located on the Ogun State controlled section of the Toll gate axis are already spilling into the road.
For many, refuse management issues in and around Sango-Ota environment is still due to improper and ineffective management.