THE Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has said it will prosecute roadside traders and residents who engage in indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
AEPB Director Braimah Osilama disclosed this while addressing community heads in the FCT.
According to a statement by the Board, Osilama noted that there were laws against roadside trading, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, farming along road corridors and other activities which many residents and community heads were aware of.
He also noted that awareness had been created through advocacy visits by the Board to community heads over the prohibition of such activities by the government.
“Interacting with community leaders is a strategic step of the FCT Administration in getting the message down and across to the grassroots and also communicate government’s stance of zero tolerance for farming activities, trading and dumping of refuse on road corridors along Airport Road.
“There are AEPB laws prohibiting farming, trading and dumping of refuse on road corridors in the FCT. The community leaders are aware of this, and this advocacy visit provides another opportunity to interact with them, reemphasizing the need to discontinue these unwholesome practices.
“This is not the first time we are meeting, we have met a couple of times in the past, this is just a reminder to them. As a responsible and responsive government, we keep interacting with the people once in a while. We had a fruitful discussion with the community leaders,” he said.
According to the statement, community heads consented to the removal of trees along road corridors without compensation, due to the dangers they pose.
“The positive outcome of this particular meeting is the consensus that economic crops and trees along the road corridors are to be removed without compensation to the farmers since they constitute a security threat to residents in those communities and the commuting public,” Osilama added.
Waste management has remained one of the challenges facing the FCT.
The ICIR had reported that indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents and cart pushers, popularly known as ‘baban bola,’ is worsening waste disposal challenges in the FCT, with many areas turned into dumpsites.
The absence of garbage bins along roads in the city also contributes to the waste disposal challenges in the FCT, but the Board’s Public Relations Officer Janet Peni, told The ICIR that plans were in place to address the issue.