Managing our own dome before smoke enveloped us

My neighbour had a fantastic one year teaching in Shanghai, China. She spoke fondly of meeting and working with people from all over the world given she taught at an international school. I received a colourful scarf as a gift that is special because it was not just Made in China, it was Handpicked in China – so super special.

So I asked Eve – Would you live there? She didn’t have to think before saying, “No, I would not.” Her salary was fantastic and the company of people was amazing but she is bothered a lot by the level of air pollution.

Sometimes media can be funny, I have read a bit about the high level of air pollution in Chinese cities but having someone who has lived and worked there talking about it in a matter of fact way was believable.

So she asked if we have the same level of air pollution in Nigeria. The question I dreaded because I am sure we have ministers for every conceivable positions imaginable but doing their job is a different thing entirely.

Sometimes mid last year was the first time I paid attention to a factory on Ife/Ibadan road. The amount of thick smoke puffing to the air was unbelievable, residential properties were visible from the main road. The factory was about two miles to the main town of Ife/Modakeke.

It is a recycling factory I was told – perhaps melting metals/plastics ready for reuse? Why do we have to have this built so close to the city? Not too hard to notice this so I pondered on what the fate of the local residents would be health wise if we have two or three factories like this close by.

As Nigeria gets more FDI, I only hope that those in key positions whose job were to pay attention to the environmental impact of industries/factories do their job.

Listening to Under the Dome by Chai Jing brought back the conversation I had with my neighbour and of course that recycling factory near my town. I only hope that someone is paying attention and enforcing regulations before we found ourselves enveloped by smoke.