Residents and shop owners along Magboro Road in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State have complained of dust after the unpaved section of the road was leveled to allow for easy vehicular movement.
Our correspondent deduced that the paved part of the road started at the Magboro bus stop and ended at the Cele bus stop, while the rest of the road had remained unpaved for years up to the Makogi area.
According to a resident, Bayo Adekale, the unpaved road is always leveled by a caterpillar every year, leaving a dusty environment.
“Once it’s October or November, the road levels out with a caterpillar. Although the effort allows smooth movement of vehicles, it leaves those of us who live along the unpaved portion of the road battling the dust. As you can see, the mosquito nets and the roofs of the houses along the way are full of dust,” she lamented.
A trader, identified simply as Iya Bola, said they face the situation every year, especially during the harmattan period when the weather is very dry.
“We are always left to inhale dust every day. This is what we face every year end when the harmattan season arrives. Our products also get dusty,” she said.
An owner in the area, Lanre Taiwo, pleaded for government intervention, saying, “If the government can complete the paving of the road, this situation will not persist.”
When a health expert, Dr. Bamidele Iwalokun, was contacted, he revealed what residents who inhale road dust could be exposed to.
He said: “The implication of inhaling dust is numerous. I think the first thing is that it affects the ciliary movement of the nasal airways. Eventually it could become blocked, which could have consequences such as respiratory discomfort. It could also cause silicosis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a factor for many other diseases and, in fact, affects all age groups and genders. So, it is a respiratory discomfort that metamorphoses into other diseases. For people with asthma, it aggravates their asthma attacks. Dust can also promote virus infection, bacteria infection, etc. It also promotes nasal colonization with respiratory pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae that are commensal but will become opportunistic pathogens. The implications are numerous and not ideal for people who trade on the streets and for those who have homes in the area.”
Iwalokun added that the unpaved road prevented Nigeria from achieving Social Development Goal Three, which entails good health and well-being.
Efforts to contact Ogun State Commissioner of Works Ade Akinsanya were unsuccessful as calls and a message sent to his phone went unanswered.