BY: GRACE EKPOANWAN ACHUM
Cross River Capital city has come under threats of an epidemic, and security threats no, apology to failure of the relevant authorities to clear heaps of refuse on most of the metropolitan busy roads.
Checks revealed that overflowing of refuse dumps and blocked drainages as well as spilling sewage and broken pipes have become common features in many streets and even some of the high ways in recent months, thereby posing avoidable environmental hazards to residents of the city and the environs.
Residents of most of the affected areas stated that they had made several appeals to the authorities on the development to no avail.
From Edibedibe, Afokang, Ibesikpo, all in Calabar South for example, over grown weeds and heaps of wastes have taken over many roads.
Similarly, most of the designated wastes dumps have exceeded their installed capacities without evacuation. Individual efforts by residents to burn the wastes have often failed because the refuse have become wet and, therefore, fire-resistant due to rains and water from nearby blocked drainages.
Confusion reigns in some of the roads as motorist and commercial keke operators and pedestrants struggle for right of way on the remaining portion of the roads. Often, the situation causes gridlocks and waste of time on the roads.
Another source of possible threat to health of the people, investigation revealed, are the operators of petty food restaurants, roadside food hawkers around the filthy road or streets and highways despite the stench from the nearby dumps.
Mr Patrick Imo Ete who leaves around the filthy environment and works in the local government, decried the unhealthy condition in which people leave in the affected areas. He noted that since the beginning of the current administration of Professor Ben Ayade, and with the rainy season and consequent humid weather that make burning of the waste difficult the situation has become worse.
“We are worried here because the whole environment is polluted with stench and we are stuffed here. All appeals to the authorities to evacuate the wastes as fell on promisery response; he said.
Another Very worrisome situation in Calabar lamented Mrs Asuquo Eyo Ita, a civil servant is the security situation. She said in a situation where residents sleep with one eye open because of alarming security situation, how can investors feel safe to come in for investment. In Cross River State, Calabar town, be it Calabar South or munincipal, the security situation is bad.
Youths numbering between 10-20 at it given operation attacks residents with impurity. Residents rush home from where ever before 7pm or risk being attacked, killed, maimed or collect your valuables. Even the homes are not safe. They often break into homes with all kinds of sophisticated weapons and collect all their victims valuables, leaving them either dead or in a poll of their blood. This happens every day.
Mrs Grace Archibong, a lecturer, said kidnapping has taken over the state. That last week, a friend of hers was kidnapped in front of her resident at the parliamentary village. Up till now nothing is heard from that angle. Life in Cross River is hell on earth. This used to be a state where people come from everywhere to rest. But today is it still so? Archibong queried.
Something needs to be urgently done especially in the area of security. Governor Ben Ayade is trying in other areas, like prompt payment of salaries to civil servants, and trying to woo investors to Cross River State, but he must urgently address this alarming issues of insecurity and unfilthy environment, that can marr his administration, said Engineer Christopher Atupka, from Iyalla in Cross River State who is businessman at Wode Market in Calabar.