A refuse-filled drain in Dutse-Alhaji community, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

Residents of Dutse Alhaji Community in Bwari Area Council of the FCT have decried the deplorable state of their area which include poor drainage system.

The residents, who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), described the development as worrisome, adding that it was adversely affecting the health of the people in the area.

Mrs Gloria Akinbade, a food seller in the community, said her business was the worst hit as customers complain of the stench coming from the gutters.

“People don’t like to eat here anymore, they prefer to buy “takeaway”. The stench coming from the gutter alone is harmful to our health; imagine having to inhale it for six days in a week,” she said.

Similarly, Mr chimezie Emmanuel, whose motor spare-parts shop is located close to one of the illegal dumping sites, said there were not enough refuse buckets from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).

“What you see today is minor compared to what it actually used to be. People sneak here to dump their trash at night when everyone might have gone to bed.

“We have reported to the police about the dirt dumped here, they sent people to spy the area yet no perpetrator has been caught, we also tried to get the refuse bin from AEPB but we couldn’t get because it’s limited.”

He called on government to come to their aid for the well-being of the community.

Pervasive refuse in Dutse-Alhaji, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

A landlord in the area, Elder Chuks, blamed the blocked gutters and drainage system on poor maintenance, saying that he had had to pay labourers to clean the gutter around his area.

“It has been like this for a while. We don’t have a designated area to dispose our refuse. We usually pay those we call “mai bola” (local cleaners) to dispose them and they end up dumping them anywhere.”

He suggested that the government should check blocked drains through proper waste management.

However, the Village Head, Chief James Shamo, blamed the unwelcome development on residents’ poor attitude to environmental cleanliness, adding that some residents and traders empty their waste in the drains.

“Usually, its supposed to be the responsibility of the area council but they have cast a blind eye to it. We’ve tried severally to organise environmental sanitation on weekends but turn-out has been very low”

He urged individuals to complement the efforts of the government by engaging in regular sanitation of their immediate sorroundings.