by Alexander O. Onukwue
Residents of flooded parts of Lagos who wish to defy their ‘islands’ will have to roll up their trousers to well above knee length. Better still, knickers or outdoor boxers (hope that’s a thing). Those who had gone flood shopping before now would have the proper kit: rain coats and agricultural rubber boots.
But not a swimming trunk. It is absolutely unhealthy and dangerous to contemplate putting one’s body in such a heterogenous body of water whose source is not certain. Pictures of kayakers are fun, but taking a dive is certainly a step too far.
Of more concern, however, is the boundless flow of the flood into people’s homes. It has risen above knee levels of grown adults, preventing vehicular traffic, to now delivering dirt and disease down to doorsteps in Lagos neighbourhoods.
If the Lagos State Ministry of Health is aware of this, it would be proactive and responsible to issue a guide to residents to, as much as possible, avoid contact with the streams of water. It may not quite require evacuations at this time, but an outbreak of a water-borne disease is a very much within reach at the moment.
A strain of Gonorrhoea has been reported in the news this week. Lassa fever, the deadly disease spread by rats, has killed another somewhere. It cannot be certain what thing is out there, at the moment. Knowing how indiscriminately hazardous waste is disposed and the ease with which rodents patrol unsanitary dumps and landfills, there should be extra caution on health matters in Lagos right now.