In Makoko area of Yaba, Lagos State, dwellers shower and defecate on the water from which they drink. VICTOR OGUNYINKA, curious about the effect of this on their health, embarked on an investigative mission to the community and took various water samples from the community to the laboratory, and the results explain the danger which lack of potable water exposes Makoko people to in a community surrounded by water.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), article 24 on the convention on the right of children states that “Children have the right to the best health care possible, to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment and the information to stay healthy.”
Somewhere in Lagos State, precisely in Makoko, Yaba, over 10,000 Nigerians, including children are living in a condition that negates this child right act.
|Woman fetching water from one of the borehole channels in Makoko. PHOTO: VICTOR OGUNYINKA|
The first sight at the river bank of the community was that of a toddler, about three years old, squatting at the edge of a floating boat, defecating inside the lagoon.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that that was a way of life and common practice as another boy, not more than 10 years, was also using the water for convenience.
For more than five decades, the only life people living in a part of Makoko know is the life on water; they have managed to embrace, procreate, do their various businesses on the lagoon water, which is less than one kilometre from the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos.
|Chemical analysis on the water samples from Makoko being carried out at the Cheistry Laboratory, Lead City University, Ibadan|
One cannot talk about the story of Makoko water community without mentioning the popular
|A Laboratory Technologist observing the water samples under the microscope at the Microbiology Laboratory, Lead City University, Ibadan.|
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This is serious