By: Oji Moses
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board has warned residents of the Federal Capital Territory to stop disposal of construction waste on roadside or face the full wrath of the law.
It has been observed that residents doing renovation work in their houses oftentimes don’t abide by the regulations given to them by the FCT Department of Development Control by making proper arrangement on disposal of all construction wastes generated.
The Director, Department of Environmental Health and Safety of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mrs. Kate Ogbonna, gave this warning during the routine inspection of the neighbourhood, leisure parks and gardens in the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
According to her, the essence of the routine monitoring exercise is to ensure that residents and operators of leisure parks and gardens comply to environmental safety rules and regulations; and where non-compliance or dumping of solid wastes is discovered, abatement notices are served to occupants of such premises.
Her words: “It is not the duty of Abuja Environmental Protection Board to pack up construction wastes. The wastes we are mandated by law to remove are municipal wastes which are wastes generated from households. So residents should cease from dumping their construction wastes by the roadsides thinking it is our duty to remove them.”
She said that of the residents the Federal Capital City must endeavor to imbibe the culture of proper wastes management and disposal; saying poor handling of wastes can pose threat to quality life.
The Director said that the team is moving with environmental safety enforcers to ensure that no stone is left unturned.
She added that construction wastes when disposed on the roadsides not only deface the city but also affect its aesthetic beauty.
Ogbonna said when notices are served, the office do give offenders time frame in which to remove any waste, correct the anomaly or face the law.
“After the expiration of the notice, we do go back to see if the people have complied. If they complied accordingly, there will be no problem; but if not, we turn their cases to the Legal Unit of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board who will then take up the matter for prosecution in a Court of law where it will be handled according to environmental laws of FCT,” she said.
She enjoined residents to acquire wastes bins for proper waste disposal instead of throwing them on the highways and gutters; adding that “they should also pay their wastes bills as at and when due to enable government serve them better”.