By Alhazan Abiodun Rilwan
The HLA School for The Handicapped, Agodi-Gate, Ibadan was established in 1976 and has been providing haven for pupils with special needs in the areas of mental retardness, hearing, blindness, deaf and dumb, autism among others.
Currently the school has two hundred and forty pupils (240) with twenty academic and non-academic staff members who take their times to tend to the pupils.
It is worthy to state that this school has two public secondary schools: IMG Grammar School, Agodi Gate and HLA Grammar School, Agodi Gate, Ibadan bordering it from its rear flank at Oke-Adu, Ibadan North-East, Ibadan.
The reason for this letter is the condition of the school as related to its environmental condition, caused by burning of discarded spare parts of cars, plastics and many other items within and outside the school.
On Monday 15th January, 2023, I had the opportunity to visit this school alongside colleagues from my office to access the condition of the pupils and upon our entry, we were met by thick, dark smoke coming from the burning of tyres and condemned spare parts.
We all held our breathes, trying to escape inside the school, but upon entry into the school, we met teachers, some of who are also physically challenged, holding their noses.
They complained about how they have been getting sick since they resumed school, due to the carbon emission, which, according to them happens daily and also affecting the health of their pupils.
Upon subtle prodding about the steps taken so far by the school management, the Headmistress of HLA School For The Handicapped, Mrs Adewale Elizabeth claimed she has written several letters to the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to address the crisis, but no changes have occurred.
I want to call on the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Hon. Mojeed Mogbonjubola, the head of the State Environmental Task Force, the Oyo State Minsitry of Education and Science and Technology and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to urgently intervene and end the killing emission by the people selling cars’ spare parts and burning their carcasses within and around the school premises.
We all know the effects of carbon emission on human health, parts of which are respiratory (asthma, cough and catarrh) and cardiovascular diseases, headache, cancer, skin irritation among other deadly diseases.
I wish this appeal will reach the right authority and safe the pupils and people living and earning daily livelihood around this area.
Alhazan Abiodun Rilwan,
Project Public Relations Officer (P.P.R.O),
Oyo State Community and Social
Development Agency (OYCSDA),