Home » Hazardous Pollutants: Oyo residents near Aba-Odo landfill express concern

Hazardous Pollutants: Oyo residents near Aba-Odo landfill express concern

by Akeem Adeyemi
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Residents living near the landfill sites of Aba-Odo, Irepodun, and Akinyele L.G. are appealing to the Oyo state government due to numerous hazardous pollutants emerging from landfill operations in their community.

Aba-Odo is a town situated between NNPC bus stop Moniya and Akinyele market along the Oyo-Ibadan new express road. The town is a 10-minute drive from Ojo bus-tanner and a 4-minute drive to Akinyele Market.

The Aba-Odo landfill is well-known to those traveling on the Oyo-Ibadan express road, as the foul odour from the landfill can easily wake up anyone inside a bus passing by. While many may not be familiar with the community hosting the landfill, anyone on the road can attest to the unpleasant smell emanating from the landfill.

It’s worth noting that in September 2023, the Oyo State Government issued a warning to residents against indiscriminate refuse dumping. Mr. Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, emphasized the government’s commitment to a clean environment and warned of consequences for those caught dumping waste unlawfully.

Despite the government’s efforts to maintain a clean environment, concerns are raised about the use of refuse collected from the state capital to fill the landfill near Aba-Odo, a community that has long advocated for the evacuation of the landfill.

Historically, the landfill was initially located in Agodi Gate before being relocated to its current site in Aba-Odo in the early ’90s due to town development.

Residents of Aba-Odo have been actively expressing their grievances to the Oyo state government for the past eight years. Various measures, such as letters to the government through the Ministry of Environment, appeals to past representatives, and efforts to engage the newly elected representative, Hon. Moshood Lakan Abiola, have yielded no tangible results.

Prince Alimi Abidemi, the son of the immediate past Baale of Aba-Odo, emphasized the adverse effects of the landfill on the community, including health concerns, disruption of daily activities, and a decline in the overall quality of life.

The Baale of Irepodun township, Chief Yekini Ojo, assured residents that he would address the matter by writing to the appropriate authorities, expressing confidence that Governor Seyi Makinde would intervene.

A resident and artisan, Mr. Aponmode Hammed, recounted the community’s actions in 2022 when the youth mobilized to prevent further waste dumping. He urged the government to evacuate the landfill to a more suitable location away from residential areas.

Mrs. Maryam Oladimeji, a food vendor in Aba-Odo Express, voiced her displeasure, stating that the odour and flies from the landfill deter customers, making it difficult for businesses to thrive.

Health Hazards

Research indicates that individuals living near landfill sites face higher rates of medical conditions, including asthma, gastrointestinal issues, recurring flu, and skin irritation.

This newspaper reports that continuous exposure to harmful chemicals, toxic fumes, and dust from landfills contributes to these health problems.

A study conducted in 2019 highlighted the biological effects of landfills, emphasising their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, including methane and carbon dioxide.

Landfill operations lead to contamination of surface and groundwater, posing health risks due to leachate.

Various pollutants, such as pungent odours, disruptive noise, bioaerosol emissions, volatile organic compounds, litter, dust, rodent activity, and the potential for fires, impact residents’ well-being and the environment.

Health Implications

Continuous exposure to methane can lead to coordination issues, nausea, vomiting, and even fatalities, experts said.

A medical practitioner, Dr. Mrs Abdulrasheed Khadija Afolashade said Acidic gases like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and halides cause nose and throat irritations, bronchoconstriction, respiratory infections, and exacerbate symptoms in asthmatic patients.

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