by Ajadi Daniel
Weeks after the Olusosun dump site fire, the hazy smoky fog that beclouds the atmosphere on a daily basis persist even now. Even with our camera we could not see beyond the fog of smoke. Passers-by could be seen wearing protective cover on their noses to prevent them from inhaling the poisonous smoke why some just remained ambivalent to the atmosphere under the guise that it has now become a usual occurrence, something they are now practically used to by now.
There was obviously nothing unusual to cover especially after the event of the past weeks regarding the breakout of fire on the site which ravaged for several hours destroying properties around, although with no casualty. The cause of the fire on the more than thirty-year-old dumpsite reputed to be the largest in Africa and one of the largest in the world could not immediately be ascertained, but the ministry of environment claimed it was due to gaseous reaction.
The smouldering fire left behind smoke which affects citizens in Olusosun, Ojota, Ketu, Ikosi, Magodo and environs. Yet only few of them are willing to open up on the obvious environmental effect the smoke is having on them. Workers in Motorways, a large office complex near 7up were seen moving out of their offices, one of the workers who spoke to us said “As you can see, they are all leaving the office, especially those that have places they can work from, they return when the smoke subsides, those that have nowhere to work from stay put despite the smoke”, he said.
A resident whose house is behind CMD road, said “life has become difficult for them due to the smoke, especially in the evening, the air they breathe is polluted and it chokes them because of the poisonous gases, especially in the night when electricity is interrupted and we open our windows, the heat, the smoke… help us tell government to find a solution to this” she said. Another trader told us that we don’t even need to ask questions regarding the health implication as we can see this for ourselves, everybody in the area (CMD road, Magodo) is affected.
The smoky fog coming from the dumpsite makes vision difficult for those plying the busy Ojota road and other adjoining roads in the area. Siting a dump site at that locality is exactly not the problem but rather the neglect of such site by the government for over thirty years without support infrastructure for proper maintenance and adequate control is just the problem. Olusosun should continue to remind Lagos state government that we don’t have to wait for infrastructures to degenerate or cause harm before we take actions. In Olusosun, the dream of Lagos becoming a smart mega city suffered a setback since such city cannot be without factoring in climate change.