Water is essential for life. We need clean, usable water every day: to drink, bathe in, cook, and produce many goods and services. We must improve the way we use and manage our water resources. This will help us enjoy the vital services our water ecosystems provide. Oceans are ecosystems, quite susceptible to pollution. Many estuaries have become so badly polluted that they have been closed to commercial fishing. Therefore water pollution is a major issue that needs to be addressed.
Water Pollution in Lagos
Lagos Lagoon along the Ebute-Metta and Eti-Osa axis is currently facing a number of serious environmental and ecological challenges. Uncontrolled discharge of untreated wastewater and sewage into the lagoon has degraded the quality of surface water beyond acceptable limits.
Damage caused by the continuous discharge of unregulated and uncontrolled solid and liquid wastes into the Lagos Lagoon has provided motivation to community. Environmentalists, policy makers and stakeholders have decided to brainstorm the environmental perspectives for the overall sustainability of the environment.
The Lagos Lagoon is located in the Lagos Island area of Lagos State, Nigeria. The Lagos Lagoon along the Ebute-Metta and Eti-Osa axis is a coastal terrain and is surrounded by urban development. The rainy season extends generally from March to November with irregular dry spells.
The Ebute-Metta and Eti-Osa and its environs are typical of the country’s Southern zone with relatively moderate temperature and fairly excessive humidity particularly during the rainy season. Unfortunately, some of these natural drainage lines have been blocked by development in the eastern coastal areas, resulting in the creation of large swamps and a rise in the groundwater table in the neighbouring undeveloped areas.
Furthermore, the vicinity of the Lagoon at Iddo and C.M.S axis were noticed to be the most polluted area. This implies that the Lagoon at this two sampling points is highly polluted with the commercial activity in that location. The water quality in these locations of the Lagoon is rapidly declining, thereby rendering the water unsuitable for any freshwater fauna and flora and recreation purposes.
Uncontrolled disposal of raw sewage, sediment carrying runoff and effluents into the Lagoon system has created serious health concerns for the downstream water user groups. In view of the experiences and the lessons learnt from the past, the concept of Basin-wide planning has been felt necessary for sustainable development in Nigeria.