Residents of the Para community in the Oke-Aro area of Ogun State have expressed concerns over the danger a dumpsite located in the area posed to their health.
Our correspondent who visited the area on Monday observed that the dumpsite is located by a canal beside a filling station along the major road.
PUNCH Metro noticed that the heap of refuse was already as high as a two-storey building, almost touching a power line that runs across the community.
Despite the stench oozing from the site, some scavengers have also turned the site into their base by constructing makeshift houses around it.
The community’s leader, Samson Gbadamosi, told our correspondent that residents have been enduring the menace posed by the dumpsite for over 20 years.
“The dumpsite has been there for a long time now. We have been facing this for more than 20 years now before I became the baale.
“I want the government to remove this dumpsite or relocate it inside because it’s too much,” Gbadamosi said.
A resident, Tola Gbamiboye, who shared her concerns over the matter lamented that the dumpsite had forced her to abandon her home.
“I ran out of this place because the dumpsite poses a kind of epidemic threat around here because when it starts smelling, nobody can stay. If the heat is high now, you will see that it will bring out fire on its own.
“There is a filling station beside the dumpsite, this is risky. Most of us have children that refuse to visit us because of this dumpsite, please help us,” Gbamiboye lamented.
Another resident, Olusola Abioye, said, “The nuisance this refuse has caused is on the high side. Many times, we can’t open our windows, the stench is terrible. Many are afraid that epidemic may break out anytime because the pile, the height of the thing is increasing.”
When contacted on the telephone, the state Commissioner for the Environment, Ola Oresanya, described the dumpsite as an illegal one, saying the government would shut it down.
The commissioner said, “The place is an illegal dumpsite, it is inappropriate, we never approved it. We have told the people who are using the place to leave; otherwise, we will arrest all of them.
“The place has to be shut down. Very soon we are going to put a concrete fence at the entrance and nobody will be able to enter there.
“It is a criminal den, and you have a lot of people from other parts of Nigeria living there, conducting all sorts of illegality. So, apart from environmental hazards, the place is a security threat for the community.”