You’re inefficient in waste collection, Oyo sanitary health, LG officers blast waste contractor
Residents must change attitude to waste disposal ― Waste contractor
A combined session of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Heads of Local Administration (HLAs) across the 33 local government areas and 35 local council development areas in the state, on Monday, fingered the state’s waste collection contractor, WestAfricaENRG for inefficiency in the management of waste.
According to the environment officers, the ineffectiveness of WestAfricaENRG in waste collection and management was responsible for the heaps of refuse and litter which has become commonplace on medians and highways across the state.
Converged upon state Secretariat, Ibadan, for a stakeholder meeting on environmental sanitation in the state, convened by state Head of Service, Mrs. Ololade Agboola, the EHOs and HLAs urged the state government to engage environment health officers and sanitary officers in each local government for effective refuse collection.
In their separate remarks, two sanitary officers, Mrs. Funke Hamzat and Mr. Tijani Adegoke argued that the job was cumbersome for one contractor, urging the Governor Seyi Makinde led the government to align with the dictates of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which delegates waste collection as a responsibility of the local government.
“Our state is littered with refuse and it’s an eyesore. We want the state government to abandon its decision to give the responsibility of waste disposal for the entire state to one contractor. We have tried it over the years and it has failed. The constitution assigns that responsibility to the local government. The LG should be empowered to carry out its responsibility,” Hamzat said.
Speaking in the same vein, Heads of Local government administration, Taiwo Adewale (Iwajowa) and Segun Adekiigbe (Ibarapa) and Olasunkanmi Bayo of Iwa LCDA, urged the state government to utilize sanitary as in the past, called “Wole Wole” to penetrate localities and ensure proper disposal of waste.
They wondered why environment officers in local government areas were not engaged as well as why refuse bins were withdrawn and replaced with asking residents to dump their waste on medians and highways.
“WestAfricaENRG is overburdened by the task. The company has not been effective in waste collection. They do not penetrate those localities effectively as we can. The government should engage those environmental health officers that used to do the job in the past,” Olasunkanmi said.
In her remarks, state Head of Service, Mrs. Ololade Agboola noted the need for synergy between the state, local government, and contractor on refuse management as well as increased sensitization of residents, while pointing out that the state government will take decisive steps in the next four weeks.
Responding to the barrage of dissatisfaction expressed, Chief Operating Officer of WestAfricaENRG, Lolade Oresanwo identified the need for an attitudinal change of residents in shunning indiscriminate waste disposal on medians, highways and patronizing approved waste collectors.
She argued that WestAfricaENRG had agents assigned to each locality in the state while urging all and sundry in the state to see themselves as stakeholders in waste management and sanitation to prevent the outbreak of an epidemic.
Oresanwo noted that the reservations could be attributed to her company’s inadequate cooperation with environment health officers at the local level,
“We recognise the need to talk to our people more. For everything that we do, there are learning points and we have taken their observations on board.
“When this committee meeting started last week, we recognised something fundamental. When you work and the other party does not understand what you are doing, it is misconstrued.
“Gone are the days when a contractor works alone. Waste management and sanitation affect everybody and the EHOs have to be carried along. If the EHOs are carried along at the state level, what about at the local level? So, we are going to work with them to seek their support and by the time we complete this process, everybody will come out strong and better.
“We probably have not cooperated enough with the environmental health officers at the local level. Everyone has to pay for their waste disposal. We have noted their reservations and will work on it.
“However, it is wrong to put refuse on the medians. Let us think about our personal hygiene and health, and the way the stench affects us.