Africa

Lagos sanitation troubles

Updated 11:32 AM ET, Tue September 27, 2011
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Sewage, collected from household septic tanks, is deposited in the Lagos lagoon Courtesy Olatunbosun Obayomi
Water intended for domestic use is carried through a choatic network of pipes, many passing through the same open drainages into which sewage is dumped. Cracks in water pipes can lead to contamination of drinking water, says microbiologist Olatunbosun Obayomi. Courtesy Bosun Obayomi
Due to the prevalence of waterborne disease in Lagos, most people rely on private boreholes (pictured) -- underground wells that pump fresh water to the surface. Courtesy Bosun Obayomi
Private water vendors, selling drinking water by the canister, are also common on the city streets. Courtesy Bosun Obayomi
Inventor and Lagos resident Obayomi has devised a way to convert existing septic tanks into biogas generators with little more than plastic pipes, cement, a handful of gas valves and a day's worth of digging. Courtesy Bosun Obayomi