Open Drainage And Its Health Implications
Nigeria is globally renowned for leaving her drainage open and bare to every eye. Of course, this is not news. Our leaders who while in office awarded these contracts for road construction never bothered to have covered drainage stipulated in the contract designs and papers. Just on few occasions did they bother with this particular inclusion.
Coupled with our general attitude to public safety and the environment, a proper Nigerian would rather drop a used pure water sachet bag on the thoroughfare instead of the waste basket provided for by the driver of the public transport means he/she is using from where the elements would drag this non-decaying material into the open drainage(s).
It is no one’s business to care for the environment. All over Nigeria, the story is same. In some states of the federation, attempts have been made to correct the citizens’ approach to environment issues. As our environment is wasting away, so are we.
Another use we have put our open drainage to is that of open toilet. Under our bridges and wherever is convenient for the offenders, they squat and defecate into the open drainage adding to the increasing disgusting foul odour that pervades all of our open drainage as a result of not clearing them on time of the debris of human waste and non-perishable material wastes.
We all know that at the end of the day, when rain comes as we are now in the rainy season, it would become difficult for flood to flow freely through these drainage made for them. Because they are blocked as a result of indiscriminate dumping of refuse and all manner of waste, flood would begin to sack people from their homes.
People whose windows are by these stinking open drainage know the amount of money they have been spending on the health implications of their poor attitude to their immediate environment. They are always seen coughing, with their skin looking ashen and leathery.
Our children are always exposed to picking germs from these open drainage even as the parents live in constant fear of loosing their children to the collection of stagnant water that is capable of drowning them.
Most times, opportunistic sicknesses like that of malaria parasite are incubated in these open drainage where mosquitoes see to it that more and more Nigerian children do not live to see their fourth birthdays thereby making the fight against the scourge of malaria non-winnable.
The only way we could help ourselves out of the health implications of living with open drainage system in Nigeria is by taking good care of our immediate environment via clearing these drainage and getting rid of blockages either initiated by us or flood so as to enable the water in them to keep flowing instead of remaining stagnant. We can as well demand of our leaders to always award contracts for road construction with the stipulation that closed drainage system be included and actually executed at the end of the day.