Kwara Dirty Canal Endangers Community Health
Residents of Abata area in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria, have expressed their concerns over the Abata canal that has been converted into a dumping site, with refuse, faeces, and urine covering it. They lamented that the canal could cause the spread of incurable diseases, making the place intolerable.
The residents disclosed that most of the people who dump refuse in the canal come from distant locations, while they bear the consequences of pollution.
Kilaso Emmanuel, the founder and executive director of Securecyle Environment and Climate Change Initiative, noted that improper refuse disposal is a significant environmental issue in Nigeria that needs urgent attention from individuals, communities, and the government.
Kilaso further highlighted the importance of education, public awareness campaigns, and investment in waste management infrastructure, emphasizing that the government must take the lead by providing adequate waste management facilities and enforcing laws and regulations on waste disposal.
The improper refuse disposal could cause air and water pollution, leading to respiratory problems and diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery, warned Kilaso.
According to reports, the canal has become a major source of concern, with its environment posing health risks to humans and animals alike. During a visit by a news reporter to the area, some passers-by held their noses while flies danced, and lizards scurried around the canal. Residents complained of how the canal’s state had affected their health, adding that the pollution was unbearable.
Kilaso, in his statement, blamed the poor waste management practices in Nigeria for the improper refuse disposal. He highlighted the lack of necessary infrastructure for waste disposal, such as garbage trucks, waste bins, and landfills, as a major cause of the environmental problem.
Speaking on the issue, one of the residents, Fatai, who preferred not to disclose his full name, explained how he had been trying to prevent people from dumping refuse or excreta into the canal, but his efforts had been futile. He stated that he had stayed outside till 3:00 am in the morning, hoping to catch someone in the act, but most times, they would continue with their act once he slept off. He added that although he had caught some people, he could not take any action against them since they were residents in the area.
Fatai also revealed that a particular house in the area was fond of throwing their excreta into the canal, despite several warnings, and the situation had been causing diseases in the area.
Another resident, Iya Fatimah, who preferred not to disclose her full name, revealed that the high rate of refuse dumped in the canal had led to flooding in the area. She stated that whenever there was rain, the flood would occupy the area, leading to the demolition of some houses. She added that although there had been an intervention from the Kwara South senator, Arch Yisa Lola Ashiru, who instructed some people to visit the area, no assistance had come from anywhere else.
Improper refuse disposal is a significant environmental issue in Nigeria, with residents of the Abata area in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria, suffering from the effects of the Abata canal, which has turned into a dumping site. To address this problem, there is a need for a holistic approach that includes education, public awareness campaigns, and investment in waste management infrastructure. The government should take the lead by providing adequate waste management facilities such as garbage trucks, waste bins, and landfills, while individuals can adopt responsible waste management practices.
Community-based organizations can also work together to organize regular clean-up exercises in their neighborhoods and create awareness of the dangers of improper waste disposal.