Residents and pedestrians traversing the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have expressed dismay over the persistent issue of open defecation on the recently reconstructed drainage system. This unfortunate trend has become widespread as individuals, identified as miscreants, deface the road median with feces, forcing pedestrians to endure foul odors while crossing the expressway.
The unsanitary situation was observed from Berger in Lagos State to Kara, Warewa, and Mowe in the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The medians along this stretch have become regular spots for open defecation, raising concerns about the health risks posed to residents and passersby.
Residents in the area have voiced their distress, emphasizing that the pervasive stench is hazardous to personal hygiene. Tunde Adewale, a resident, expressed concern about the embarrassing appearance of the median and the potential health risks associated with open defecation. He urged the government to take prompt action to address the issue, emphasizing the risk of diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
While acknowledging the concern about the scarcity of public toilets along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway corridor, it was noted that two public toilets were available at the OPIC and Arepo ends of the highway. Despite this provision, some individuals choose to defecate in the median, disregarding the available facilities.
An attendant at one of the public toilets, Akin, disclosed that the facility charges N100 for bathing and N100 for toilet usage. However, despite efforts to discourage open defecation, some individuals persist in using the median.
Olayiwola Ogunsolu, a manager of one of the public toilets, suggested that government intervention, including the arrest and imposition of fines on open defecators, could serve as a deterrent. He emphasized the need for effective policing and enforcement to address the ongoing challenge.
In response to the situation, the Commissioner for Environment in Ogun State, Ola Oresanya, expressed dissatisfaction and assured that the state government would intensify enforcement efforts. Oresanya highlighted the commitment to station personnel permanently in the area to ensure effective policing and discourage open defecation along the expressway.