Hitherto, Enugu, the Coal City State, was known as one of the cleanest cities in the country. Apart from the clean nature of the city, its ambience was further an attraction of its own.
What has gone wrong in the city known for being clean and serene is now a cause for concern.
Every dustbin across the entire state is disgusting, especially those found along Agbani road, Abakpa, 9th Mile down to Nsukka. “We don’t know whether ESWAMA is still working,” a resident told our reporter.
Thomas Eze, residing at Agbani road, said, “The refuse dump after United Bank for Africa branch before Motor Transport Division (MTD) police station at Garriki is an eyesore.”
Adadareporters was able to speak to a truck driver that evacuates refuse. He did not want his name mentioned.
In his words, “It is not like this before. The management is no longer proactive in packing waste.
“ESWAMA used to be hard working during the time of Governor Sullivan Chime and the present administration until recently.
“We don’t have enough manpower. The equipment that is needed for this job is not enough
“Before, the management provides big iron baskets where residents dump refuse. Today, those things are no longer available. Trucks are not enough. Those who do the job are not well protected, and people now drop waste on the road, behaving like animals.”
A conductor of one of the refuse disposal vehicles, on condition of anonymity, said, “The residents are not helping matters. They will see spaces where they can drop their waste, but prefer to drop them on the road. You can see that the lackadaisical attitude of our people is contributing highly to the menace.”
Asked whether ESWAMA is privatized, he said that nobody privatized it but the nonchalant attitude of the management to do the right thing is responsible for this ugly situation.
According to him, “Before, those who are evacuating refuse take milk after doing their job to wash their system and protect them from infections that they might have contracted but this no longer obtains.”
A shop owner at a refuse dump along Agbani road said, “The lives of men evacuating the refuse are at risk. It wasn’t like this before.
“I was in Enugu when Sullivan was governor and Enugu was very neat, but today, the reverse has become the case. Please the state government should do something.”
Efforts are on to get the side of the Enugu State Waste Management Agency, ESWAMA. A visit to the agency’s head office showed many grounded refuse evacuation trucks said to have no spare parts in Nigeria.