Walk along many roads in Lagos, and you can expect to experience a few things—the hum of generators in the background, gutters full of plastic bottles and sachets, and of course—roads packed with vehicles chugging out black smoke. Not only is it an eyesore, and an assault to our sense of smell and immune system, it also comes with a price tag.
According to the Center for Disease Control, lower respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are among the leading causes of death in Nigeria. Unsurprisingly, low air quality is linked to increased mortality in RTIs. In Lagos, the World Bank estimated that air pollution caused 11,200 deaths in 2018. Given Nigeria’s issues with data collection and management, this is likely to be an underestimate. As well as this, diarrhoea diseases and tuberculosis also make the top ten causes of death—both of which can be contracted by drinking unsanitary water.