Our Rooms Smell Of Smoke

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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Odimegwu Onwumere

The woman across the untarred close opposite us always burn refuse she sweeps in her compound. Her husband is late! Near her is a compound the owner turned to his wedding workshop. Just near the building I am occupying is an inconsiderate neighbor who loves putting on his electric generator. I will tell you where all this boils to.

Nigeria has suffered many electric grids' collapse only this quarter of the year. The government authorities are saying they want to upgrade the watts to a better watts. Since 1999 of democratic rule in the country, it has been one promise by any successive governments to another on how they would upgrade the watts that never hold water.

Due to this area we reside in was having, at least, few hours electricity, the welder brought his workshop to his residential compound. He would weld, file and make noise that comes out in a welding shop without minding whose ox was gored. The woman who burns swept items in her compound, does that as a vendetta, since her building is just the next fence to the welder's. Hence, while she is indirectly on a reprisal to the welder, the residences are engulfed with smoke.

We have no one to complain to except "God," leaving everything for patience. The same goes with the man close to my building, he burns his generator due to there's no electricity and, occasioned by the heatwave in town. So, each passing hour, our rooms smell of smoke and going for medical checks is a tall dream in Nigeria where a worker's minimum wage is just below N20,000 a month, where we live below a dollar a day.

Check how much N20,000 is in dollars. Yet, we keep moving on as if nothing wrong is happening. But some of us who have read in books and articles concerning environmental and noise pollution are worried and when we complain that this has to stop or reduce, they tell us, "This is Nigeria. Go to America or London and live."

Odimegwu Onwumere
April 29, 2024.