Strategic Government-owned dump site in Akwa Ibom state has led to the death of 28 residents as a result of respiratory related ailments spread by pollution from said dump-site located along the old stadium road besides Government House.
Many residents have fled the community for dear lives, while others are living in fear following strange ailments that had led to the death of other residents.
The residents also complained about the stench that comes from site and how it had polluted their water.
According to the them despite protests and instituted court cases against the Akwa Ibom government has remained adamant.
One of the residents said; “The Deputy Governor had to come here because we barricaded both access roads to the area, and the ministry of environment had to park trucks carrying refuse on streets of Uyo.
“He promised that the state government will push the refuse away from the people and construct a fence to reduce contact with the area,”
He added that when his now deceased sister was examined by doctors at the Max Healthcare Super Specialty Hospital, India, they traced her ailment to frequent inhalation of toxic substances for years.
“When I took her to India, the doctors there diagnosed her of lung infection. The doctors asked if she worked in a factory where she was constantly exposed to hazardous substances, or live in a polluted environment”
“When we came back to Akwa Ibom state, we also went to Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo, where she finally died.
“We have lost many young people here. Apart from my sister, recently we also lost a youth leader, Nsima Udotung; a couple and a number of others.
“As we speak, the security guard who takes care of this environment has been severely ill.
“The soil around this vicinity is contaminated as iron dumped in the place, secretes acidic substances into soil contaminating portable water sources, plants, and vegetation.
“And in dry seasons, the heat in the dump site, usually trigger flame causing thick smoke that engulf the entire area for days”.
Reacting to the issue, The Environment Commissioner, Dr Iniobong Essien, said the government was doing its best to provide an alternative dump site far from the people, adding that the government was designing a system to recycle wastes, but that some issues were hindering the commencement of the project.
He said: “The community is the lowest point around Barracks Road; that is why we have come out with a design to restructure the area and make the environment conducive for the residents.
“If you look at the place, you will notice that some residents can no longer drive to their homes. So, we need to take a very holistic look at the situation. So far, we have decided to provide alternative dump sites.”