Residents lament open defecation on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, fear disease outbreak

Residents and pedestrians along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have lamented the continuous open defecation on the reconstructed drainage system.

PUNCH Metro reported that the trend had become rampant as miscreants defaced the road median with faeces, thereby causing pedestrians who cross the expressway to cover their noses.

Our correspondent who monitored the sanitary situation on the expressway on Wednesday observed that the median from Berger in Lagos State inward Kara, Warewa and Mowe in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State had become regular spots for defecation.

However, pedestrians and residents in the area have raised the alarm that the strong smells that ooze from them are dangerous for personal hygiene.

Speaking to PUNCH Metro on Wednesday, a resident, Tunde Adewale, said, “Aside from the embarrassing outlook of the median, the faeces pose a serious health risk to us the residents and the government needs to act now. This has been going on for a long time and we have made a series of complaints but nothing has been done while these people keep on messing up the place. We are risking diseases such as cholera and dysentery. We cannot pretend as if we don’t know the dangers of allowing this to continue unchallenged.”

 While there were concerns about the number of public toilets along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway corridor, our correspondent on Wednesday sighted two different public toilets at the OPIC and Arepo ends of the highway.

One of the attendants who identified simply as Akin, said, “The toilet has always been in operation and we charge just N100 for bathing and N100 for the use of the toilet. But while some of them make use of this facility, others choose to go to in-between the median to defecate. We have tried to prevent them because we understand that a toilet has been provided for them, but they won’t listen. Sometimes, we go as far as firing catapults at anyone we see defecating there.”

One of the managers of the public toilet, Olayiwola Ogunsolu, said, “Until the government starts to arrest those engaging in open defecation, it may continue to occur. That is the only solution. We have tried our best to prevent it several times but some of them thought we were doing so to make them patronise us. That was why we left them. Once they are arrested and made to pay a fine of like N5,000, then they will realise that the fine is much more than the affordable price they charge for using a public toilet.”

The Commissioner for Environment in Ogun State, Ola Oresanya, said the state government would step up enforcement to ensure the perpetrators were apprehended.

He said, “I am not happy with what I saw there. We have left a gap in the sustenance of enforcement in that area but I can assure you that we are going to step up enforcement in the next few days. We need to station people there permanently and we are going to pay them. People need to see effective policing before they run away from there.”