The reduction in the number of operational zones for waste collection in Asaba, the Delta State capital from 41 to 17 has resulted in the massive disengagement of most of the refuse collectors from homes and facilities, which is not unrelated to the showdown between relevant government agencies and members of the private sector.
Asaba and its environs now wear unsanitary look due to the over burdening of the government approved private waste collectors, as they now have to cover wider areas with limited resources.
The cold war between Private Sector Participants (PSPs) in refuse evacuation and the Delta State Government has taken a new turn following the alleged arrest of three of the waste collectors in Asaba.
The situation degenerated recently when residents in one of the zones where refuse had not been evacuated for over a month contacted one of the sacked waste collectors that was previously in charge of the zone to pick their refuse in order to avoid epidemic outbreak.
The said waste collector had mobilized his men and equipment to site after extracting a commitment from the affected residents that he would be paid for the service rendered for the day.
A source disclosed that as he was working, officials of the state Waste Management Board stormed the area with a detachment of policemen and arrested them.
“I quickly called the chairman and the Public Relations Officer of the Association of Waste Managers (ASWAMA) who raced to the scene. But their intervention was futile as the police forced them into a waiting vehicle to the station.”
The Public Relations Officer of ASWAMA, Mr. Adeniyi Osawaru confirmed that they were arrested and detained for several hours by the police adding that when the complainant failed to show up after several hours, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) asked them to go and report the next day.