The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has sealed up the Garki International Market in Abuja due to environmental and hygiene issues, which pose a potential outbreak of an epidemic due to the accumulation of poorly disposed refuse. The Director of AEPB, Mr. Osi Braimah, also cited the breakdown of law and order in the market, stating that an abatement notice was served but no action was taken by the market administrators.
AEPB’s environmental officers discovered that the market was in bad shape during their routine monitoring activities on April 26. They noted solid wastes, cabbages all over the place, bleeding sewage lines, and heaps of refuse dumps all over the market. Despite serving an abatement notice, nothing was done to address the situation.
The AEPB went to court to seek an order to seal up the market until it was cleaned up to avoid an epidemic outbreak. The market will remain shut until the wastes are evacuated, and the AEPB will go back to the court to seek an order to reopen it as soon as the wastes are removed.
Mr. Desmond Arebenjamo, Chairman of Fruits and Vegetables in Garki International Market, said that they received calls that the market had been sealed up by the AEPB. He pleaded that many of them are selling perishable items and have purchased them in large quantities, fearing loss. He revealed that some of the unions in the market took the market management to court over increased service charges.
The closure of the market underscores the need for market operators to tidy up their wastes and maintain hygiene standards to avert epidemic outbreaks in the Federal Capital Territory.