Capital city now among the dirtiest in Nigeria
Worried Imolites beg govt to save situation
Owerri, the Imo State capital was once rated the cleanest city in Nigeria just a few years ago but the events of today have actually put the mega town among the first ten in the index of dirtiest and most unkempt cities in Nigeria.
An independent investigation by Nigerian Newsguide showed that Owerri lost her glory in terms of cleanliness in the past eight years particularly during the era of Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
The investigation also indicated that the city of Owerri as it is today, has virtually got out of hand as there is no conscious effort by the government towards putting the city back on the part of glory as far as clean and fantastic environment is concerned.
Our reporter who went round the Owerri metropolis observed with utter dismay the indiscriminate dump of refuse in Owerri capital territory.
According to the Reporter, Wethedral Road that used to be a wonderful sight to behold since it is the only road that leads straight to Government House from the Airport has suddenly become a valley of indiscriminate refuse dump coupled with the unpleasant presence of beggars and persons with mental health issues.
The worst form of the whole sad commentary is the fact that residents of this supposedly designated office area now dump their refuses mainly diapers, hospital waste and rotten food materials including adult stools on the road dividers without wrapping them properly to the extent that a little breeze will always blow them all open and scatter the nonsense everywhere with the unpleasant odour therein.
A stroll along Wethedral road particularly between old ITC Park and Government House roundabout would give an individual a clearer picture of what is being discussed.
Okigwe Road especially around Orji, Douglas road, Orlu road (Amakohia-Akwakuma), World Bank, New Owerri, Onitsha and Aba Roads, Ikenegbu, Bishops court, etc according to our reporter are indeed a harbinger of sort.
A situation where drivers and commuters throw away all form of trash both bio-degradable and non bio-degradable from moving vehicles without being intercepted by law agents or environmental tax forces is not only an eyesore but also paints a picture of a city without government and implementable environmental laws.
Our reporter was shocked to observe that on any major road and street of Owerri as it is today, more especially in and around any structural nuisance, beggars and mentally unwell persons have occupied everywhere including the beautifully built Bus Shelters.
They cook, warehouse their dirty bag/baggage, and worst still, openly defecate in these places without confrontation.
A visit to Bank Road, Government House Roundabout, Ware House Junction, Douglas, Ohaozara Street by Ikenegbu, Aladimma, Mbaise Road, Akwakuma roadabout, Naze junction, etc will actually convince anyone that all is not well with the city of Owerri after all.
A number of Imolites who spoke to our reporter on this subject matter condemned the sad development in its entirety.
They called on the government to explore the provisions of the ENTRACO laws to deal with the situation, noting that the city is now only being compared with the likes of Aba, Onitsha, Ibadan, Lafia, Markudi and some parts of Kano among others.
One of the interviewees Mr Nnamdi Ijezie advised the government to stop this indiscriminate dumping of refuse particularly on major roads and streets of Owerri alongside throwing trash out from moving vehicles which he supposed, was a punishable offence. Ijezie equally urged the government to jettison the idea of carting away refuse of Owerri residents free of charge but rather enact a law that would make one pay for his or her refuse as it is done in advanced countries.
For Dr. Tony Ukaegbu, Owerri is now home to many displaced persons from the North and South-South and the city usually have heavy inflow of humans on sight-seeing and casual visitation, as such allowing mentally deranged persons, urchins and beggars to occupy our public facilities is a pointer to the fact that government is not alive to its responsibility.
“If Owerri is well planned with tourist attractions, zero tolerance for dirts and absence of mad persons/beggars, tourists would find it a better place to relax and catch fun. This would help boost the IGR base of Imo state, giving it a leap above other states economically and otherwise. These mentally deranged persons could be moved to Ngor-Okpala where a rehabilitation home was built for them during the time of Governor Achike Udenwa”, Ukaegbu said.