"The mountains of refuse dumps closer to our homes and roadsides serve as good hideouts for rats, rodents and even snakes."
An Abuja-based Environmentalist, Mr Olu Andah, said unhygienic human activities were among the factors responsible for the wide spread of Lassa fever in the country. Andah, a former President, Nigerian Environmental Society, an Abuja-based Non Governmental Organisation, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He, therefore, urged relevant authorities to educate the citizens on the dangers of living in a filthy environment. According to him, the persistent disposal of solid waste near residential homes and on roadside has negative impacts on the general well being of people and the environment.
Andah said the offensive stench that emits from heaps of garbage was an attraction to rats and rodents to the surroundings. "The mountains of refuse dumps closer to our homes and roadsides serve as good hideouts for rats, rodents and even snakes. These rats and rodents are known to be vectors of the deadly Lassa fever and the snakes are also known to be poisonous reptiles.
"It will be wise enough if Nigerians are educated to be conscious of keeping their dwelling places clean,” Andah said. He, however, called for effective waste management system at all levels of government in the country. He suggested that a well organised Waste Management Agency be put in place by all the concerned authorities to reduce some avoidable disease.
" The only alternative for the residents is to dump the solid wastes in open designated points along major roads and other internal inlets. "And these wastes remain there for days or weeks before evacuation to the permanent dump sites, " Andah said.