Forest reserve turned refuse dump and place of convenience
Residents of Gumani in the Sagnarigu District of the Northern region have reduced what could easily be a tourist attraction site into a refuse dump.
The indiscriminate dumping of refuse and human excreta is gradually pushing a forest reserve there into extinction.
Despite the fact that there is a dumpster just close to the forest, some residents disingenuously prefer to dump their waste in the forest.
‘Even though there is a waste container, people dump their waste on the ground,’ Bawa, a resident of the community complained.
But another resident explained: ‘Some residents defecate just around the waste container compelling other residents to dump their refuse on the ground instead of the waste container.’
Indiscriminate defecation is another problem facing residents of Gumani. Adults and children can be seen defecating side by side in the Gumani forest.
A resident bemoaned, ‘some people come here to defecate because there is no public toilet in this part of Gumani and I think if a KVIP is provided this practice will stop.’
Notwithstanding the insanitary conditions of the place, some women vend food close to the refuse dump putting the health of consumers at risk.
Meanwhile, the food vendors there said they have been battling, albeit without success, with people who dump refuse on the ground and defecate in the forest for a very long time.
‘We have confronted people who dump refuse on the ground many times’, said a food vendor.
Another food vendor admitted that her business has been affected because she sells close to the rubbish dump. However, she said, she has put measures in place to prevent her food from being contaminated. ‘I always cover my pot so as to prevent flies from settling on my food’, she said.
Interestingly, people who patronize their food said they are fully aware of the health implications involved in buying food close to a refuse dump, but they claimed the vendors are constantly advised to take measures to avoid contamination.
Hajia Salima Kamaldeem, whose provision stall is close to the refuse dump, blamed waste collectors and the assembly member for the area for their woe.
‘Waste collectors delay in emptying the dumpster; this leaves the refuse container overflowing and residents have no choice but to dump refuse on the ground. I also blame the Assemblyman for not taking action against the practice.’
Meanwhile, residents who live close to the forest say they can no longer accept the indiscriminate dumping of waste and open defecation in the reserve.
Speaking to MultiTV’s ‘Clean Communities’, residents called on authorities to provide them with more refuse containers while steps are taken to regularly empty them. They also called on residents to use the KVIP that has been provided for them and stop the practice of defecating in the forest.
CLEAN COMMUNITIES AIRS ON JOY NEWS, MULTI TV EVERY FRIDAY AT 7 PM.
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