Rose Ejembi, Makurdi Over 100 Benue women, suffering from Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), are currently undergoing medical screening and treatment at the Bishop Murray Hospital in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The VVF medical Outreach, which was organised by the wife of Benue State govermor, Mrs. Eunice Ortom, in collaboration with the Birmingham University Teaching…
Satellite Town is in Oriade Local Council Development Area of Amuwo Odofin, Lagos. Its area is 135 square kilometers. The community is really on edge.
It is troubled on all infrastructure fronts. Every direction one looks; bad roads, poor drainage system that provokes flooding of the place whenever it rains and water tanks/reservoir stare one in the face – an evidence of a community embroiled with many developmental challenges.
There have been complaints from residents on the issue of water scarcity such that landlords had resorted to advising new tenants coming into their apartments to ensure they move in with their own water tanks/ reservoir. Today, water vending has become a brisk way to make money in Satellite Town. Even those who have water in their residence find that it is not drinkable.
A first time visitor to the community would think there is a petrol tank farm in the area as there is huge presence of tanker drivers moving from one point to another, discharging water to the residents.
The Electricity Distribution companies (DISCOS) are busy distributing estimated bills that are high and mentally disturbing, a kind of ‘I no send you,’ mindset. Residents of the area to press home their anguish over high estimated electricity bills and lack of prepaid meters have embarked on several protests and complaints on many occasions. Some have been addressed while many are on the waiting list.
There is no doubt we have a problem of who should be accountable in addressing the decadent state in Satellite Town: federal, state or local governments.
However, the deplorable state of roads and illegal structures in the area show that what was once known to be an estate has overtime turned into a slum. Free movement within Satellite Town is another headache among residents of the area. When there is a downpour, the whole area is flooded, due ostensibly to poor drainage system. For instance, a commuter living in such areas like Learning Field, 16 bridges, new site etc would have it rough when it rains. Not only would the person wade through the flood, he would also have to pay more fare to get home.
To some people who live in the community especially street urchins, it is a reasonable place to live but the water there is not too good to drink. It tastes salty.
In fact, the environment is dirty and underdeveloped yet cost of living and rent demands keep rising.
Surrounded by Ijegun community, Festac Town, Amuwo-Odofin and Snake Island, one of the major challenges facing Satellite Town is shortage of infrastructure relative to population growth. And because towns play important role in economic development of the state, problems confronting them should require proactive policy measures by various governments.
With the population of Lagos State growing at geometric progression, the result of this has been a persistent problem of housing crisis, vehicular congestion, environmental pollution and spread of slum with associated high crime rate.
The 1981 Lagos State New Town Development Authority (NTDA) was established to create new towns in order to manage the growth of Lagos and de-congest the metropolitan area and after more than three decades of the Authority, Lagos has not produced any real impact on infrastructure development and spatial socioeconomic equity.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 places in the fourth schedule (F) the responsibility of the local government inter alia; to construct and maintain roads, streets, street lighting, drains and other public highways, parks, gardens, open spaces or such public facilities as may be prescribed from time to time by House of Assembly of the state.
Although, the various functions of the local government are enormous, the tragedy of the situation is that the councils have very limited and circumscribed sources of revenue to enable them perform meaningfully and effectively the functions and responsibilities assigned to them.
Lagos via [email protected]