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Teachers and pupils of New Bethel Primary and Nursery school, Onitsha, Anambra State have decried the indiscriminate dumping of refuse around the school premises.

They said the refuse heap in front of the school constituted health hazard for them and their visitors, calling for its immediate disposal.

Speaking to The Nation, the headmistress of the school, Mrs. Oby Okafor, said she had written to the agency saddled with the responsibility of refuse disposal, but it was yet to respond.

“I have written to the Anambra State Waste management agency (ASWAMA), to dispose the refuse dump in front of the school, but the plea fell on deaf ears.

“I have also told the environmental health personnel but they keep promising they will come. I am also appealing to our working governor to help us because our children are suffering,” she said.

A resident of the area, Mrs Ngozi Mba, called on government to come to their rescue.

She said the ugly trend, which she blamed on over population, was affecting residents adversely.

“One major challenge confronting Onitsha residents is waste management occasioned by over population.

“Major roads in the city like MCC road, Onitsha-Owerri road, Court road, among others have been overtaken by refuse.

“The one in front of this primary and nursery school is causing serious health nuisance to the pupils and teachers,” she said.

Some of the pupils who spoke to The Nation on conditions of anonymity, described the stench oozing out of the refuse heap as unimaginable.

“This thing they are dumping here is not good for our health. It is affecting us seriously. I want government to take it away from our school premises,” one of the pupils lamented.

Another pupil called on government to put up a notice board to serve as a warning to defaulters.

Reacting to the development, Manager-in-charge of Solid Waste in Onitsha South, Mr Achike Iweze, attributed the problem to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the residents.

He advised them to follow the standard procedure recommended by the government.

Iweze also advocated for the overhauling of the system, including setting up of a task force to monitor and arrest defaulters.

“The government should overhaul the entire system, inspect all contractors to make sure they have all the required equipment needed to cover the areas.

“The government should also set up a task force to monitor and arrest those dumping refuse indiscriminately to stem the tide,” he said.

Source: http://thenationonlineng.net/anambra-school-raises-alarm-refuse-dump/

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