Diarrhoea, Cholera: The Health Hazards Of Lagos Torrent
Nigeria News analyses the health implication of Lagos recent flood
After the flood had ravaged Lagos and residents had recounted their losses, the effect of the flood resurfaced on Monday when a four-storey building collapsed on Massey Street, Lagos killing five people.
Study has shown that buildings collapse in Lagos mostly in the raining season even when there is no flood.
The recent flood weakened the foundations of many buildings, especially those that did not conform to the government structural plan. They cave in easily.
Despite the natural aquatic splendor of Lagos, the state lacks potable water and beside the problem of incessant building collapse as a result of flood, residents depend more on packaged water at very high cost.
Before the government came up with strict regulation on the sinking of boreholes around Lagos community, residents depended much on well water as their best source of potable water.
Almost every house sank a well, which they boiled for drinking and cooking. Boreholes later became fashionable until the state government went hard against it.
The government had said that the continuous sinking of boreholes could lead to the deformation of the earth and consequently lead to a tremor.
It was also gathered that water from soak away flows into the boreholes and residents gulp it as it comes, leading to ill health and various faecal oral diseases like Cholera, Diarrhoea and dysentery.
These are what Lagosians are battling with and in the last few days, 27 residents of Somolu, Oshodi/Isolo and Surulere Local Government were put on surveillance due to outbreak of cholera and diarrhoea.
As a matter of fact, two of them had died, according to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris.
Idris attributed the outbreak to contaminated water, which the people in the areas drank and fell sick. There was massive movement of both surface and underground water during the torrent that contaminated many boreholes.
When there is flood, experts say there is an increase movements of underground water, which of course can mix organic matter with drinking water.
The best time Lagos provided high volume of potable pipe-borne water was in 1999 when it inaugurated the Adiyan water facility. It supplies 70 million gallon of water per day but the problem is that most homes in Lagos that have pipe-borne water hardly drink it.
Their excuse is that the state Water Corporation does not treat the water and it could be dangerous drinking such quality of water. To them, the corporation only add Chlorine to the water and nothing more.
In fact, homes with pipe-borne water are located in the eyebrow locations, among the rich and they only use it to wash their cars, according to findings.
Two months ago, Ambode said that Lagos would need about 720 million gallons of water but at present the state could not boast of 200 million.
There is a shortfall of about 500 million but residents especially the downtrodden must drink water. They resort to the popular sachet water, “Pure Water”.
Investigation revealed that many of the “Pure Water” factories do not have water treatment plant. They park untreated water and sell directly to people.
“If it is cold, then it is pure,” a resident who identified himself as Mr. Bode has said.
To him, most Lagosians buy “pure water” while in the traffic and what they ask for is whether it is cold.
Most people that are uneducated measure the quality of water by its coldness, which after they consume it leads to serious health issue.