TOXIC WASTE: Delta Government Warns Residents To Stay Clear Dump Sites At Anwai, Asaba

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

The Delta State Ministry of Environment has charged residents to stay away from the dump site of a suspected toxic waste in Anwai, near Asaba.

The Commissioner for Environment, Chief John Nani, who gave the charge in an interview with the newsmen on Thursday in Asaba, said the substance dumped at Anwai was a strange waste.

He said that the sample of the substance had been taking for test to establish it nature, content and destination.

He said that the site where the waste was dumped has been marked danger to prevent people from going close to it until the results come in about one or two weeks’ time.

“The state government has approved a legal dump site for waste at Ibusa but most people hide at night to dump waste indiscriminately around Asaba. We have put tasks force in place to curtail those excesses, but what you have seen at Anwai is a strange one and we suspect it's an industrial waste”.

"We have gone to the site on Wednesday and collected a sample to know exactly what the waste is and from there we can trace where it came to be dumped there. So far, we have condoned the place off to prevent the citizens from going close until we establish the nature of waste and to know what the substance in those cement bags are”.

He said though that the waste was not the regular ones seen on daily basis but sounded reassuring that it may not be hazardous because the ministry took the sample and nobody had experienced any negative signs.

He, said that the ministry would not want to go into full evacuation of the substance until the test results were released.

He advised the people to stay clear the area and to be vigilant not to allow other persons dump waste in their neighbourhood because it may turn out to affect their health.

He also called on the people to comply with the waste disposal law in place in the state and to pay their waste disposal bills promptly to the designate bank to enable the contractors take away their refuse.

"This will give the citizens leverage to good health because dumping waste indiscriminately will endanger their health because of the hazardous nature of waste.

"We are asking people to be vigilant pay for the wastes generated to be taking away and not to allow any other person dump waste in their area," Nani said.

Some residents in the area were beginning to express fear on the possible impact of the substance on the people should it turnout to toxic waste.

They called on government to act fast and ensure timely removal of the substance from the area, particularly where it was dumped near the Delta State University, Asaba Campus.