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Fear of epidemic outbreak grips Ondo residents as refuse litters Akure

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In the past few days, major roads within Akure, the Ondo State capital, have been littered with refuse dumps.

It was gathered that the not-too-pleasant scenario, which is currently giving residents huge concern, was due to the non payment of the evacuation fees by the state government to the contractor (ZL Global Alliance) in charge of clearing refuse dumps in the state.

A drive across roads such as: Oja Oba, Oba Adesida Road, Oyemekun Road, Arakale and Ondo Road, among others, would not be possible without being greeted by heaps of refuse dumped within the nook and cranny of the streets.

Some residents, who have been showing concerns over the development, expressed worry due to the health hazard they were being exposed to, which they said if not urgently addressed could lead to the epidemic outbreak in the state.

According to a resident, who simply gave her name as Tumininu, stated that “Since Monday, this is what we have been exposed to and the government is not bothered. Only God knows how long this would last because the stench from the refuse can suffocate anyone passing by it.

“God forbid an outbreak of cholera; we all know that the effect will be disastrous. That is why we are appealing to the government to act fast.”

Also speaking, Mr Jimoh Olaniran appealed that for the sake of residents, the state government should urgently find solution to the situation, which he said, has become an eyesore in the state.

“I think the elections are now gone, I see no reason why Aketi (Gov. Akeredolu) should not get to work and ordered that this rubbish be cleared.

“I believe the sanitation of any government should be a priority, he (Gov. Akeredolu) needs to act swiftly before any outbreak occurs,” he said.

Meanwhile, a top official of the Ondo State Ministry of Environment, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to our correspondent that the contractor in charge, was being owed a huge amount of money, adding that, that was why the company suspended its services.

“The government owes the company; that is why it stopped work since Monday. The government too is worried about the matter, and it must be seeking ways to pay the contractor so that it will resume work,” the source said.

On his part, the Commissioner for Information, Yemi Olowolabi, said the issue was being looked into and it would soon be resolved.

When contacted, the Group Managing Director, ZL Global Alliance, Mrs Abiola Bashorun, confirmed that the firm had suspended services for the past few days but said it would soon go back to work.

She, however, did not disclose the day the company would resume work.

“We are already on the issue and my people will be back very soon. I will just appeal to our people to bear with us; the matter will be resolved in a couple of hours,” Bashorun stated.

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