The Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) is drawing the attention of Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola and Commissioner of the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, to a looming epidemic around the Alimosho General Hospital, Igando, where a neighbouring acreage has been converted into a refuse dumpsite.
DPA warned that the operations could contaminate the Igando water-table and the surrounding air and cause the over 200,000 residents air, water and insect-borne diseases like Cholera, Tuberculosis, skin cancer, liver cirrhosis, Typhoid Fever, Malaria and others.
According to the party, the facility oozed stench constantly engulfing the hospital’s patients and nearby residents, including occupants of houses owned by two former governors, Brigadiers Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Patrick Aziza.
Particularly irksome to the party is the brazen impunity with which the operations appear to be going on.
DPA said: “Residents and hospital staff appear quite lost about the problem because they don’t know what else to do. These past few months, they could only watch helplessly as the unending traffic of refuse vehicles come and dump their foul contents into a place harbouring a population of about 200,000. It is a health hazard that needs urgent attention as it portends danger for the hospital’s patients, workers and residents alike.”
The party called on Governor Fashola, Commissioner of the Environment and the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jide Idris, to urgently wade into the situation.
In the words of DPA: “This is a total contradiction, a government hospital operating next door to a 6-acre refuse dumpsite! The stink from the facility flows to a radius of about three kilometers around, engulfing neighbouring settlements and the hospital, which shares a wall with the dumpsite.”
DPA described the hospital’s ongoing fountain and beautification project as the trappings of a “whited sepulcher,” papering over harmful effluence that endangered newborn babies and sick people who naturally had depreciated immunity and low resistance to germs.
In addition, the party warned that the burrowed area was prone to erosion and that neighbouring buildings were already being threatened.
According to the party, neighbouring facilities exposed to the stench from the pit include the Rosella Amusement Park, the Alimosho General Hospital at Igando, Lagos State Incubation (Employment/ Vocational) Centre, the LASU-Isheri Expressway and several hotels, schools and houses.
The piece of land originally spotted a signpost saying the large expanse of land belonged to some Lagos State establishments, until CGGC, the contractor handling the Isheri-LASU- Iyana-Iba highway, suddenly swooped on the site, excavating earth from there to sand-fill portions of the road it was constructing.
The statement said: “No one is sure that something criminal is not happening in that place. This was good, solid land right in the city and a foreign contractor, apparently with the collusion of officials of Lagos State Ministry of Works and Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, swoops on it as source of filling sand.
How could this be condoned by a Lagos State that prosecutes people who dredge river beds for sand? It is strange that with the abundant bushes and forests in and around Lagos, a burrow pit should have been dug in that well-developed suburb with such a large population.”