By Longtong Ibrahim
Jos (Nigeria) – The heap of refuse and dirt littering the city of Jos in Central Nigeria and its environs has become a source of concern to residents, considering its hazards on human health and the environment among others – especially the immediate community.
The city commercial Centre, “Terminus” and other areas like Bukuru, Tudun wada, and Abattoir, have remained filthy and stinky, where bins over flow with dumped refuse.
The strike by Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC), Plateau State Chapter over unpaid salaries of seven months, have forced workers of Jos Metropolitan Development Board to down tool – forcing the agency to stop performing its role of refuse evacuation.
Africa Prime News Correspondent in Jos who went round the city observed that refuse kept piling up in most parts of the metropolis. In Terminus, it was a heap, but people were carrying out their normal businesses. In some areas, even food stuff were been sold close to the refuse are dump, which could possibly lead to an outbreak of diseases like cholera.
Some residents who spoke with our correspondent, lamented the continued strike and the hardship it is causing the ordinary Nigerian – no wonder their call on the state government to find a way of ending the strike soon, for the well being of the people.
Jonathan Paul, a businessman at the terminus market says dirty environment could affect business and tourism, which were sources of revenue to the state. He said, “No one would want to visit a dirty place.”
Paul stressed the need for the Environmental Agency to be mobilize for immediate evacuation of the refuse, adding that the bins kept there were filled beyond their capacities.
Similarly, Precious Gyang decried the state of filthiness in her area, saying it could possibly lead to an epidemic outbreak.
She also pointed out that it could give mosquitoes the perfect breeding ground whenever it rains, stressing that malaria is responsible for over a million death yearly.
James Longkat, a civil servant called on the new government to as a matter of urgency call off the strike action stating that it is the strike that has caused the heap .
He pointed out that there was no one to do the work, because they are on strike. “we are not finding things easy, there is no money, our children are out of school, private hospitals are expensive for us to go, no money to feed our family well; that has turned us to beggars, so it is not only environment problem we have,” he added.
A health practitioner, Reuben Sunday explained that, heap of refuse left for long can lead to an outbreak of disease, and living in such vicinity is not healthy.
He added that some of the health problems encountered by living in areas close to refuse dump include respiratory symptoms, irritation of the skin, nose and eyes, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, headaches, psychological problems and allergies.