By Jimitota Onoyume
EKVWERE — “WE are dying of stench from a dumpsite located barely 100 meters away from our house,” wife of Mr John Isodje, has cried out on the trauma the family is passing through.
•Mr. John Itodje pointing at the dumpsite
Clutching her baby, Isodje, who operated a thriving restaurant business at their residence on Ekvwere Road, Ekvwere village, Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, said it packed up because customers could no longer bear the stench from the dumpsite.
Over 50 trucks from Warri, Ughelli, Effurun dump refuse here
She said no fewer than 50 refuse trucks from all parts of Warri, Ughelli, Effurun, and adjoining communities regularly heap wastes at the dumpsite.
“My six- month- old baby and family members deserve to breathe clean air, but cannot because of the dump ground. Government should quickly come, relocate the dumpsite, and take care of our health. The whole family is suffering from one ailment or the other. We do not even have enough money to go to the hospital,” she sobbed.
How customers fled restaurant
“I had a restaurant; we sold bush meat and good native delicacies. It enjoyed large patronage. But since the place became a dumpsite, we lost all our customers because they could not stand the smell and flies from the place”, she added
Her words: “Customers could no longer stand the smell and flies from the place. I fear everyday for the health of my barely six- month- old baby.”
Her husband, Mr John Itodje, said he did not know and how the place became a dumpsite. According to him, at the time he built his house at the location, what is today a dumpsite was only a sand dredging site.
“I woke up one day to see refuse trucks driving in to dump refuse. When I made inquiry, I was, told it has become a dumpsite.
“Refuse trucks come from Warri, Ughelli, Ethiope East, Effurun and several other places to dump waste here. Government should intervene and put a stop to it. And also take care of medical challenges of my family, we are suffering from this ugly development,” he bemoaned.
I have nowhere to go
Asked why he had not moved out of the place, he said, “Ekvwere is my village and I managed to build a house in the family land I inherited, where do I run to, I have no other home other than this place. Is it wrong for me to build on my family land in the village? Again, I do not have money to build in Warri, I do not think I acted wrongly to build in my village,” he added.
Mr Isodje said he was advised to cry to the media, adding, “I do not know any other way I can go about this. People advised me to go to the press as the last hope of the common man. Please, you people should help me inform the government,” he pleaded.
One of his children told our reporter, “We are regularly in the hospital for severe malaria. Government should do something. This is not fair.”