Residents of Dorowa Delale, located behind the old airport in Bauchi metropolis, are facing significant health concerns due to excessive dust generated from the abandoned Shafa Roundabout–Zango road. The dust poses a risk of respiratory issues, cancer, and other dust-related diseases for the people using the road.
This road, which was officially inaugurated for construction on February 25, 2021, by Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri, is part of the Kaura City project and falls under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) agreement with an Abuja-based Construction and Civil Engineering Company, KK Kingdom.
The 2.8km road was expected to be completed within 18 months, with the Kaura City project situated at the old airport and an estimated cost of N4.8 billion. The then Commissioner of Land and Survey, Prof Adamu Ahmed, had stated that, “The state government is contributing the land under a land swap arrangement, KK Kingdom Nigeria Limited will invest N4.5 billion in the first instance, to deliver top-class serviced plots on 81 hectares of prime land and a 2.8km dual carriageway, part of the inner southern bye-pass corridor, in exchange for the right over a percentage of serviced plots.”
The slow progress of the construction work is negatively affecting the health of nearby residents. They now wear face masks, even within their homes, to protect themselves from the dust generated by the passing vehicles. Those living close to the road experience the most severe consequences of the ongoing construction.
A resident named Abubakar Yakubu expressed his concerns, saying, “We can’t leave our windows open, and you can’t afford to shut them completely. We now wear face masks even at home. Anytime the vehicles pass, it is a problem; the dust is just too much.”
Another resident, Abdullahi Umar, added, “When the road was flagged off for construction, we were happy and prayed for the governor. We could see development springing up, but now, most of the businesses are closing their shops because of the dust. Now there is no more rain, the dust is just too much for us.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that airborne dust can be associated with various health risks, including occupational lung diseases such as pneumoconiosis and systemic intoxications like lead poisoning. The exposure to dust in the workplace can lead to a range of health issues, including cancer, asthma, and allergic alveolitis. It can also result in non-respiratory illnesses. Therefore, it’s crucial to address dust-related concerns to protect the health and well-being of affected communities.