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Friday, November 15, 2013

Disease Epidemic in Mile 2

*A sewage drain pipe channeled into the open drain opposite Adeola Johnson Street, beside block 233, Jakande Estate, Mile 2, Amuwo-Odofin LGA,Lagos 

EVEN as residents of Lagos State and environs are recovering from the recent cholera epidemic, another possible outbreak of communicable disease epidemic is silently brewing within the Mile 2 Estate in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of the  State.
This is the current situation no thanks to poor handling and careless disposal of  human waste, otherwise known as sewage  in parts of the densely populated  Estate.
The practice of channeling raw sewage from septic tanks into gutters and open drains has become a common development even as residents appear oblivious of the attendant health hazards.
Health & Living investigations around Adeola Johnson Street, reveals that sewage pipes from septic tanks  situated behind Blocks 233, 293 and 296, empty directly into the gutters and open drains on the street.
When accosted, some residents attributed the development to the water-logged topography of the Estate, which, they said, causes most of the existing septic tanks, constructed decades ago, to fill up in no time especially in the rainy season.
But close observers and health watchers describe the scenario as an eyesore. Only recently, the Lagos State government announced plans to relocate residents of the Estate to enable sand filling of the area and construction a new Estate there as a way of tackling the perennial flooding problem of the area.
One is left wondering if indeed there is any  authority to supervise waste management activities in the Estate. The question now is whether  people should be allowed to  dispose sewage in the gutters?
An environmental expert described the  disposal of human wastes and other waterborne waste products from houses, streets, and factories as “potentially hazardous” if not properly treated before disposal.
“Conveyed through sewers to sewage works, sewage has to undergo series of treatments to be acceptable for discharge into rivers or the sea, and according to various local laws. Raw sewage, or sewage that has not been treated adequately, is a serious source of water pollution and other health hazards such as cholera,” he warned.
While it is the responsibility of the local government authority to dispose of  sewage for residential areas, it is expected that those who generate the waste would ensure responsible and safe handling.
The bottom line is that disposing untreated sewage into open gutters in a densely populated region should be discouraged in all ramifications because it has  high potential to cause cholera, and other severe diarrhoeal disorders.

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