Nothing prepared me for the terrible hygiene state of Ibadan markets as shown in this exclusive story and pictures
Last Saturday, I was at the popular Ogunpa market to do some shopping and in spite of the assertion that the Nigerian economy is bad and citizens don’t have money, the number of people at the market was unbelievable. While we could argue back and forth about where people are getting the money they are spending in the market, one thing that I observed is unarguable – Ibadan markets are very dirty.
Honestly, these days, I am always reluctant to criticize the government unless it is very necessary like in this case where their attention is needed to set things right. In January 2016, I reported that the redevelopment of the Ogunpa had already gotten underway following a truce reached by all parties and since then, some works had been done but when I visited last weekend, I was gobsmacked when I saw how dirty the market was.
If you are quite familiar with the market very well, you would know that the footpath is very very narrow, only two slim individuals could stand side-by-side. But I was shocked to see that the market people had also embraced the act of dumping refuse in the middle of the road as is the practice on highways, even stuffs from the gutter are finding their way into the middle of the road which, as you can see in the pictures below, are an eyesore for the city.
The aesthetics are very bad for the market and it makes everyone ask the question – is the government doing anything to ensure that the people in the market are safe from infections and disease outbreaks? I am also uncomfortable with the fact that serious aggressive efforts are not being made to ensure that entrepreneurs trading in the market are encouraged to do so – which is something that is much needed in this era of owed salaries and an unattractive civil service.
Government officials could argue that sanitation is the responsibility of the market leadership which is something that may not be false to some extent, but what is paramount is the critical role of the government to keep market visitors safe from germs, and market men and women are able to work in an environment that is clean and safe for their children to visit.
As I began to leave the market, I took a closer look at one of the piles and I saw that a large white thick nylon had been used to cover it but it didn’t completely cover everything since I could hard dark feaces, gutter exudates, cooked rice, indomie and vomit.
Check out the pictures that I managed to ‘codedly’ take at the market. I asked around and I was told the situation is similar in the various markets. I heard it is even worse at Bodija market.