Residents of some communities in the industrial areas of Ogun, Lagos and Rivers states have raised the alarm over the hazardous waste generated by industries in their communities.

Ogun, Lagos, Rivers communities battle hazardous waste

The residents, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said the industries were generating pollutions, which were endangering their health. At Sango-Ota in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, residents lamented the effects of liquid waste released by manufacturing companies in the area. The residents said the hazardous waste, which contained harmful chemicals had contributed significantly to the environmental degradation in the community. Our correspondent, who visited the area at the weekend, saw how the liquid chemical had eroded the area, causing a large gully and damaging people’s houses. It was also gathered that the continuous effect of the damage had caused some residents to abandon their houses, while those who had no place to relocate had been clamouring for the intervention of the state government. One of our correspondents observed how quite a number of different manufacturing firms, including chemical firms, clustered around the area. A resident, Gbenga Abolade, who conducted the correspondent round the affected spots, said the toxic waste soften the soil, leading to weathering whenever it rained.

Abolade, who owns a house in the area, said, “Most of the drainage passages in this area used to be small and narrow until these companies started to release their toxic waste into them. That was when it started expanding. I am a house owner but I am currently at the mercy of the company as the effect of the toxic hazardous waste had eroded the drainage passage close to my house and it is gradually getting close to its foundation. I have invested all my savings in building that house and I cannot afford to lose it due to the negligence of these companies.’’Another resident, Abiodun Olasupo, said, “We are helpless. The chemical waste is too much, and it comes in different colours such as green, yellow and sometimes black. And if your leg touches the water, it will start itching. People are selling off their houses, and some are still looking for buyers. If I have my way, I will leave too but I can’t. I’m a widower and my wife is buried there. We do not have what it takes to challenge them. And we don’t have anyone to support and fight for us. That is why we have just been looking at them.’’One of the residents, Segun Abolurin, claimed to have lost a plot of land to the damage. e said, “It is not just about erosion. Even if rain is not falling, the water keeps coming. I have a plot of land behind this house but it has been lost to the canal. Most of the companies channel their liquid hazardous waste towards this area.” owever, the companies close to the community have however denied releasing chemical waste into the community. A member staff of one of the companies, who pleaded not to be mentioned as he was not authorised to speak, said the company did not release any chemical waste into the drainage. A customer care representative of the company, who did not reveal his identity said, “We do not release any liquid waste. What we release is in powdered form and it is a colouring that we convert to what is used for chocolate. So, other companies around us could be responsible for that.” However, the Chairman of the Ijaliye Area Community Development Committee, Balogun Musbau, said, “We have been on this issue for a very long time. Only a few of them have been considerate about our plight. The only company that discharge water when there is rain and has not been responsive at all is Nigeria Distilleries Limited.” Ogun State Commissioner for Information, Waheed Odusile, did not respond to calls or a text message sent by our correspondent to his telephone.

Source: This news is originally published by punchng

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