………BENIN CITY STREETS AND MARKETS : THE ROT CREATED BY GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI .
FREEPRESS – Flies throng over piles of faeces, the drains overflow with sewage and the foul smell in the air is inescapable. Welcome to Benin City!
Dirt is one of your strongest first impressions: the smell of raw sewage, garbage piled on street corners, a griminess about most objects in public-places, people urinating on the street, perhaps most of all, the social dirt—beggars, and colonies of shacks where thousands live with an absence of even the most essential amenities…Water and light!
Upmarket areas rarely see garbage trucks. Compounds, in and outside, are littered with rubbish and residents are desperate for their bickering political leaders to bring about change.
It is a daily battle for pedestrians and cars to navigate the piles of plastic bottles, discarded food containers, cartons, etc. It is a really pathetic state of affairs.
Those who can afford it, hire labourers to clear garbage from outside their homes – even if that means discarding it out of sight in another part of town.
The amount of solid waste generated in Benin city is unknown. What is however clear is that more than 85% of generated waste is left uncollected. But EDSG collects 5% of turnover of all licensed waste managers as the are called!
The agency saddled with the responsibility of collection and disposal is The Edo State Environmental Waste Management board. It should be referred to and appropriately renamed waste “dispersal” agency!
It is clear that the only policy this government has on waste management is the 5% of revenue collected from its licensed waste disposal mangers. Even though many local waste disposal managers have invested heavily in this sector, EDSG led by Gov Godwin Obaseki, has failed woefully in meeting their own social responsibility expectations. I use the word local, because EDSG had the temerity to bring in their cronies from Lagos to come and have a bite of the cherry! “Lucrative” zones were yanked away from the people that primed the area. No matter the efficiency and competence of our home grown waste mangers, lagos state government will not sacrifice one of its own for them!
There are two government managed dumpsites in the state capital Benin City. We have one in Oluku and the other in Ikhuniro by the by-pass. These dump sites are overflowing with waste and are unaccessible. Waste managers now dump at Okhuaire, a private dumpsite provided by the community for a fee of up to N5000.00 per dump! Be informed that the 5% collected from waste manager is supposed to be used for the management of the government dumpsites.
The collapse of the government run dumpsites, the failure of government to fix the rot and pay licensed waste managers what is due them, the piles of garbage on street corners and market places is the consequence of the narrative above.
An environmental waste catastrophe is imminent in Benin metropolis!
Chris Osa Nehikhare
SPS PDP EDO STATE
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