Saturday, February 24, 2007

The 38th good thing about Lagos: Good intentions for community cleanup.

This is the last Saturday of the month and in Lagos State this morning is designated as an environmental clean-up day. No cars are allowed on the roads until 10 AM -- at least without risking a pricy ticket or pay-off to the police officer or even a trip to jail. So we're not going out till later! The idea behind this is that everyone is to stay home and clean up their area. Jamiu, our driver, said that this is not what happens. People stay home because they have to -- but clean-up is not a priority. No surprise here. Lagos is rated (by whoever has the unenviable job of rating these things) as one of the dirtiest cities in the world. Piles of garbage are EVERYWHERE. Each day I see people sorting through the piles looking for something they might find useful or something they can recycle. The UN says that it is projected that by 2010 (not too far in the future now) Lagos will be the world's 3rd largest city. The government isn't close to having the infrastructure to deal with the people they have now -- water supplies, electrical service, sanitation and garbage service to name a few of the areas in which they are noticably lacking. But still, it is a nice idea to set some time aside to clean up our surroundings. Our maid did a great job of this during the week, so, like the Nigerians, we're not stressing out about cleaning this morning. We're on the computer, just devoured some pancakes, and will head down to the exercise room in a bit to work them off.

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