The Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has completed the clearing of illegal waste dump sites in Mpape after Legit.ng’s report.
The evacuation which started on Thursday, May 2, has been completed with nothing less than 30 trucks engaged in the exercise, Ayo Ige, an official of the FCDA disclosed.
A total of 1,250 trips was completed by the trucks conveying evacuated waste from the dump site to a landfill in the outskirt of the city, Legit.ng learnt.
Mpape, a satellite town under Bwari Area Council (BAC) is a hilly settlement opposite the highbrow district of Maitama where Abuja’s rich and crème de le crème reside.
Recall that an investigation by Legit.ng earlier this February uncovered how illegal waste dumping buoyed by the abandonment of Abuja’s multi-million naira waste management project increased the vulnerability of Mpape residents to lead poisoning and other diseases including malaria and typhoid.
The report highlights the pollution of underground water by lead (Pb), a heavy metal that is lethal and poisonous even at low concentrations.
The report also specifically indicts the poor state of Abuja’s multimillion naira waste management plant and illegal waste dumping by residents as the lynchpin of the health hazards facing the community.
In the report, soil and water samples randomly collected from residential areas around the popular Eneje dumpsite and subsequently tested revealed the concentration of lead was slightly above the permissible level recommended by World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to WHO standards, the permissible limit of lead in water is 0.05ppm but in the sample collected it was 0.0695ppm.
However, residents of the area can now heave a sigh of relief after the FCDA cleared the dumpsite. Many residents of the area who spoke with Legit.ng commended the FCT minister and Bwari Area Council for coming to their aid while also calling for the provision of integrated waste management so as to reduce the spate of illegal dumping of waste in drainage, open spaces and unauthorized places.
“I really want to thank the government for helping us to clean this place. I am very happy now. We can now breathe in good air and not polluted one like before,” one of the scavengers who identified himself as Tijani said.
Legit.ng reliably gathered that FCT minister had earlier directed that the Mpape dump site be cleared and closed down but it was delayed due to heightened political activities in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
An official of the Environmental Department, Bwari area council simply identified as Mrs Hannatu disclosed that the area council is proposing to convert the dump site to a green area, remediate the mining pit close to the area and turn it to a playground.
Despite the huge amount of money spent by the government, integrated solid waste management which prioritizes how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and manage waste to protect human health and the natural environment continue to elude Abuja.
Sadly, the 2006 Abuja multi-million naira waste management project which could have had a semblance of integrated waste management has been abandoned after over N247 billion which amounts to 90% of the contract fee paid to the contractor.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported on how inefficiency and mismanagement of resources by the country’s river basin authorities may worsen food insecurity.
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From the Abundance of Waste, this Man Makes a Living (Documentary) - Faces of Nigeria | Legit TV