Over a month since the Olusosun dump site was engulfed with fire, residents, motorists and other passers-by have continued to live with the aftereffect.
If you have passed by the adjoining areas of Ojota, Ikosi, the Olusosun itself, or even the express lately, say the last two to three days, then surely, you must have a witness to what we are saying. As far away as by Express, you encounter this blistering suffocating smoke that just seems to percolate everywhere around, sometimes blinding motorists and endangering lives on the two flanks of the driveway.
It is something better experienced than heard, for in the few minutes it would take your vehicle to drive by, it would have received such a smarm of smoke that people would begin chocking.
Imagine then what it is for those, who have no choice but to stand by awhile, to catch a bus. If what experts say is anything to go by, the implication is that within that few minutes of helplessly gulping the smoke, you would have taken in certain substances hazardous to health.
The dump site had caught fire Wednesday, March 14, 2018, leaving far-reaching repercussions. There were reports of three pupils of the Ikosi High School collapsing after inhaling the heavy smoke, and the closure of schools around the area.
Three buses of the LAGBUS Asset Management Limited had got burnt in the incident while some residents and business owners have been forced to relocate, those that could do so on the short run anyway.
Apparently, they heeded calls by Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Hakeem Dickson, who in a press conference called on residents to abandon the area until the situation can be fully contained by the government.
While assuring of the government’s concern for public welfare, he added:
“The smoke has continued to billow and the advice became necessary to prevent health hazards,” he said.
The point is that weeks after, the smoke has continued to billow, and hapless passers-by, residents of such areas as Ojota, Ketu, Olusosun, Alausa and Oregun, have continued to inhale it to their personal detriments.
With the prevalence of such health conditions as asthma, lever and lung cancer, one wonders why the smoke has not been brought under total control. Most informed people, especially those who work around the area, move about with nose and mouth masks, but what about the hundreds of thousands of others who may not have a prior preparation.
Passengers in n Berger-bound bus were exasperated on Wednesday, and almost pounced on the hapless driver when he stopped to solicit passengers by the toll gate. There had been covering their noses and mouths on approach to the bus stop hoping that the bus would promptly leave the area.
“Is it not the government that is responsible for all these”, said the man who sat beside the driver in front. “If they cared, would they not have stopped this smoke before now”, he queried.
That started a hot argument in the bus that divided the passenger, but the majority putting the blame on the door step of the government.
Whereas the government may not be blamed for the fire incidents, it is a source of worry though that over a month after, the hazardous emissions has not been contained.