By Terese Tse
There is stench in the air from waste accumulated in many households in Makurdi particularly on Vandeikya Street in High Level, Makurdi due to the inability of the Benue State Environmental Sanitation Authority (BENSESA), the body saddled with the obligation of keeping the state clean, to function properly.
Most of the residents who spoke to The Voice about the poor sanitary condition said the situation has reached a disturbing point.
One of the residents, who identified herself as, Patience Onyebuchi, said it is indeed a worrisome situation. “We can no longer get rid of our waste because there is nowhere to dispose them. There used to be regular evacuation of waste collected in the BENSESA facility that is stationed here by the agency but for over the past four months, the waste-full containers are left unattended to. In fact, if not for the diligence of Mr. Hyacinth Chukwudi Okafor, who works with the agency on ad-hoc basis and tirelessly tidy-up the environs of these containers, I wonder what would have become of the place by now”.
According to Mr. Manasseh Tyonum, a 23-year-old BSU undergraduate who lives in High level said, “I have ceased clearing the drainage in front of our house as I have always done on Saturdays because it has come to a stage where you sweep and gather waste but can not dispose it. You will have to package and keep and it is becoming unbearable. There was a point we would package and drop at the road dividers for sanitation agency to evacuate but they had prohibited that practice and as a law abiding citizen, I stopped”.
A secondary school teacher (name withheld) who also lamented the unhealthy situation called on the Benue State government to act fast and restore sanity before lack of proper waste management will harbor germs, bacteria and microorganisms that cause outbreak of communicable disease.
Explaining the effect of the development on his person, the agency’s ad-hoc staff, who is also a resident of the area, Mr. Chukwuku Okafor, said he is the worst hit. “This sad development has affected me more than anyone else. I spent the best of my nights sleepless because if I’m not here, there will be no order but endless indiscriminate waste disposal that will gradually lead to environmental pollution so it has been very stressful but I have to keep on with the sacrifice”.
In his reaction, the acting General Manager of BENSESA, Mr. Martins Tseuma ,who explained to The Voice via telephone conversation why the agency suspended evacuation of waste said, “All the waste management vehicles have broken down ever since the previous administration but most of the equipments are bought and the vehicles will be fixed in the shortest possible time and work will resume fully to keep a litter-free state as it is being top on Gov. Hyacinth Alia administration’s blueprint.