Debo Oladadipe was fagged out and hungry by the time he returned home from work at about 11:00pm last week Friday. 

Stuck in traffic around the Berger for several hours that evening because of the Holy Ghost Congress holding at the Redemption Camp.

His commuting time from his office at Berger, to his residence at Shasha, which used to be at most 2 hours rose to almost five hours. 

Initially thinking that the situation was caused by a vehicle accident, his frustration turned to anger when he realised what happened. 

The cause of the traffic this time was heaps of refuse dumped by the roadside, which on that evening had spilled onto the main road, causing motorists untold hardship.

“The traffic last Friday evening was frightening,” Ugo, a resident, told Bounce News

“Vehicles were only driving on one tiny lane around Shasha bustop that evening, so I thought a terrible accident had occurred as usual within the axis. 

"I felt extremely angry on getting to the spot causing the problem to realise that there was no accident but just refuse blocking the entire road.

"I am yet to get over that rage because the suffering I and other road users experienced that day wasn’t worth it,” he said.

Affected areas include Oguntade Roundabout, Olorunisola junction and Oremeji bus-stop.

A shop owner within the vicinity, Funke Adebayo, said that the heaps of rubbish indiscriminately dumped in the area has made movement around the place quite unpleasant. 

She said apart from contending with the stench that comes from the waste, vehicles and pedestrians go through a lot of troubles trying to navigate the section.

Businesses, Adebayo pointed, are being affected in the area as a result of this development.

“This problem of illegal dumping of refuse had been eliminated in the past but in recent months, it has resurfaced again especially since many of the PSP trucks no longer come into the community to collect refuse.

“Apart from the effect this is having on traffic around this area, the smell is chasing away our customers, thereby affecting our businesses seriously. From Saturday till Monday, I am not sure I have recorded N6,000 in sales because all those who should patronise us are avoiding this axis as a result of the refuse dumped all over the place,” she said.

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One Blame Too Many

While the failure of most residents and passersby in many of the affected areas to dispose waste properly has contributed a great deal to this disturbing trend, findings by Bounce News further revealed that the drastic drop in refuse collection by privately-owned trucks under the partnership with the Lagos State Government in recent times, has also contributed to the situation. 

Many of these trucks that moved from street to street to clear bins have not been showing up as often as they used to in the past, forcing residents to either discard their wastes in open drains or by the side of the road.

“For some time here in Shasha, the PSP trucks have not been coming to cart away refuse the way they used to do in the past, thus making the disposal of such very difficult for many households and businesses.

“Even the local Hausa guys that we used to patronise here at times have not been functioning for a while too.

“If not quickly looked into, the situation could lead to an outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera especially with the season we are in now,” Adebisi Anjorin, a pharmacy owner in the area told Bounce News.

Put The Blame On Governor Ambode

Explaining why PSP trucks no longer go into neighbourhoods to collect waste as often as they used to in the past, Fatai Oni, an operator, told Bounce News that the business, as a result of some of government’s new policies, was no longer as profitable as it was in the past.

According to him, besides giving their jobs to foreign firms at better terms and conditions, Lagos has refused to recognise and appreciate their roles in keeping the state clean over the years, hence leading to the present situation, which has encouraged indiscriminate dumping of refuse in many sections of the metropolis.

“Many of us in the business of waste collection are not getting the type of encouragement we should get from government and that is why everything seems to be at a standstill these days.

“Even though there were so many areas we need to improve on to serve members of the public better, I do not think we were doing badly.

"All we needed was just for the Lagos State Government to give us the type of support we needed to thrive. Instead, they went to bring foreign firms to take over the industry despite all the money that we have invested in making this sector what it is today.

“This is part of the reasons why many of our trucks are no longer on the road collecting refuse, thus leading to indiscriminate dumping of waste on our roads,” he said.

Will the state government wait till there is an epidemic in the area before action is taken?

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