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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Images: Firm pollutes Lagos community with ‘black oxygen’

Air pollution continues to remain of great environmental concern across the world. In 2022 alone, air pollution was attributed to 11.65% of deaths globally, the World Health Organisation specifically puts the figure at 7 million deaths per year due to indoor and outdoor air pollution from anthropogenic and natural sources.

In Nigeria, air pollution is primarily caused by a combination of industrial activities, vehicular emissions, biomass burning (such as agricultural and domestic waste burning), and other factors like poorly regulated industries and inadequate waste disposal systems. The consequences of air pollution in Nigeria include health problems, environmental degradation, and economic losses.

In an effort to address this, Nigerian environmental photographer, Adebote Mayowa, has been using his lens to capture and document some sources and impacts of air pollution in Nigeria. One of his most prominent projects titled “Black Oxygen” tells the story of the Orimerunmu Community in Berger, a densely populated town on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria.

The images show the activities of a tyre “recycling” company posing a threat to the well-being of people living around the community. Mayowa believes that photography can play a crucial role in reporting and raising awareness about this problem.

A documentary photographer, film-maker and environmentalist, Adebote’s works are focused on using images and videos to capture humanitarian and development-related projects. He currently provides visual content for EnviroNews and the International Climate Change Development Initiative.

More of his works are available at www.climagraphy.org

Adebote Mayowa
People living within the neighbourhood glide palms on indoor surfaces to show how the soot from the recycling company settles in their houses
Black Oxygen
Pictures from residential buildings (outdoor and indoor) showing how most of the neighbourhood is covered by soot from the recycling company
Black Oxygen
An aerial shot of the tyre recycling company revealing thousands of tyres collected and yet to be burnt
 Adebote Mayowa
Aerial shot of a neighbouring fish pond polluted by soot and no longer operational because of the soot affecting fish production
Black Oxygen
Close-up shot of vehicles parked in the neighbourhood all covered up with visible soot

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