Abatement of Nuisance

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This paper discusses what a nuisance is as provided by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board Act, 1997, and procedure for abating a nuisance with particular reference to the Federal Capital City (FCC), Abuja, Nigeria.

A nuisance is something not allowed by law because it causes harm or offence, either to people in general in the case of public nuisance or to an individual person. In a broader term, a nuisance includes all illegal place thing, act or omission.

Undoubtedly, the widespread incidence of unabated and recurring nuisance remains a big public health challenge in the FCC. Indiscriminate refuse dumping, defaecation, street trading etc still persists in our neighborhoods, markets, bus stops and open spaces.

The health implications of this public health challenge are far reaching. Unsanitary environment favours the breeding and transmission of various diseases which include: malaria, typhoid fevers, cholera, diarrhea and others. These preventable diseases are the major cause of high, deaths; infant mortality and child morbidity rates.

However, all hope is not lost. Achieving a sustainable clean and healthy environment is possible and rests squarely in our hands. The author firmly believes that this seminar will equip the staff with sound legal and non legal procedure for abating nuisances.

There is no specific mention or use of the word “NUISANCE” in the Act. However, Part IV of the Act used the word “ Offence” instead. So far the purpose of this seminar, the words will be used interchangeably.

Section 17 (1) (A) – (b)
The Nuisances under this section include:
-Dirty and odorous tenement (apartment) and surrounding
-Overgrown grasses and ornamental plants
-Blocked drains
-Dirty or stagnant water within tenement.
-Lack of dustbin
-Lack of sanitary conveniences
-Discharging of effluent from a tenement into public drain.

Section 18
- Undeveloped plot in a built up area, overgrown with grasses.

Section 19 (1) (a) – (c)
-Farming in built up areas except for vegetables
-Stray animals in built up areas
-Use of zinc, waste and grass as fencing materials

Section 20 (a) – (d)
Provides for the following:
-Drying of clothes in front balcony, front of premises, hedges or side walks. -Rearing or keeping animals or birds in residential areas or failure to confine them -Open cooking with firewood
-Conversion of residential premises or unauthorized place for commercial purposes.

Section 21
-Use of grinding machine in undesignated areas
-Playing of loud, disturbing music
-Loud noise from loudspeakers and external bells
-Smoke or noise nuisances

Section 22
-Discharge and disposal of radioactive waste at non designated areas.

Section 23
-Unauthorized siting of sewer lines and septic tanks.
-Burial at non designated areas
-Unapproved construction and use of incinerators

Section 24 (1) – (4)
-Indiscriminate dumping of silt or earth material
-Dumping of construction debris at unauthorized places
-Excavation of laterite, sand or operating a quarry site without written approval from the board. -Litters from a vehicle carrying laterite, silt, sand or construction materials without covering.

Section 25
-Non provision of dustbin in a commercial vehicle for use by commuters. -Litters from a moving vehicle.

Section 26
-Non provision of public convenience by owners of tenements, petrol stations, supermarkets, cinema houses, restaurants and similar premises

Section 27
-Discharge of raw and untreated human waste into drain, water course or land. -Lack of storage tanks for liquid waste
-Unauthorized dumping of domestic, construction, commercial, industrial or hazardous waste. Storage of waste or goods, industrial or commercial likely to cause health hazard.

Section 28
-Discharge or emission of any contaminant into the environment. -Constructing, installing or operating any equipment,...
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