Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State is plagued with many problems. The soot, which is the newest baby on the block, has generated the loudest attention of recent.
On social media, it has garnered national attention with celebrities, opinion shapers, politicians and every layman talking about it. But the soot menace is just one out of the many problems threatening existence of life in the city.
The issue of insecurity has been largely contained. Although, there still exists, pockets of crime in the city, especially that of taxi drivers robbing unsuspecting passengers, mostly girls, at gun points, normalcy has returned to the city and people carry-on with their businesses without hindrances.
However, Port Harcourt is in middle of a waste crises of epic proportion, with little being done to address the problem.
For a city that boasts of the title ‘Garden City’, the waste crises have become issue of utmost urgency.
The Rivers State Waste Management Agency, should admit that it’s approach to waste disposal in and around Port Harcourt has not been effective and yielding. It also calls for sober reflection and a change of methodology.
Agencies are there to implement government’s policies and enforce them. We can agree that RIWAMA has not lived up to that expectation of enforcing and ensuring that Port Harcourt remains clean.
No other person than the governor during a visit to Oyigbo Local Government Area, admitted that the agency has failed. Why there has been no adequate response to that admittance of fact is what still baffles many.
We all are at risk of the health hazards arising from the soot menace. However, the waste issue poses yet another health challenge that should, as a matter of urgency, be tackled and nipped in the bud.
It is unheard of for a city like Port Harcourt, with all the swag that has come to be associated with it, to have a waste disposal system which enables residents to dispose their waste at road margins where visitors to the city can see them.
It portrays the city as a garbage city and not a garden city.
The government of Nyesom Wike has not been able to duly curtail the lingering soot issue as they claimed that only the federal government has the power to end it. That is understandable given the type of criminal constitution that we operate as a country.
The waste problem is something that is not the duty of the federal government. I wonder why they have been so complacent in dealing with it.
No general survive wars on two fronts. A city cannot survive pollution from two different sources with its attendant hazards.
Port Harcourt has a waste problem and we all at risk.