The rainy season is one that is most looked forward to by farmers: to grow their crops and help the process of germination and eventual harvest. Even those who do not have the tiniest idea of agriculture look forward to rainfall as a huge relieve from all the heat sapping one’s energy reserves. For a few months at least, homes feel like they have installed been with natural air conditioners!
However, for all the benefits and joy that accompany rainfall, there are also accompanying risks lurking around the corner. One must therefore be safety conscious in order to avoid some of these pitfalls. On that note, let us look at the risks one could face this season.
A manhole is usually an opening to a confined space such as a shaft, utility vault, or large vessel and is often used as an access point for an underground public utility, allowing inspection, maintenance, and system upgrades.
All around the country’s roads, manholes abound everywhere. Some of these manholes are actually covered while the vast majority are left uncovered either by commission or through the activities of vandals. The risk then lurks when faced with the uncovered manholes.
Three months ago, in Edo state, media reports emanated of school children falling into manholes in the state and suffering varying leg and other body injuries. This led to calls by well-meaning Nigerians for the Edo state government to cover these manholes to avoid future occurrences.
Whether or not these calls were heeded is a topic for another day, but the paramount task here is to be observant of manholes this rainy season.
There is always a paranoia I feel when walking on the road during or after a rainfall. My eyes are most times glued to the ground and for good reason. It so happens that during or after rainfall, electric poles are sometimes affected with some taking an unusual downward position from their regular upright stance. One such instance in the Ikeja area of Lagos state was reported on social media platform, Twitter, as far back as February. The image of a fallen electric pole went viral with the caption ‘NEPA Pole in near Collapse’.
Worse still, electrical cables from these poles sometimes fall to the ground. In the event that electricity is still surging through such wires, this could lead to instant electrocution for persons who step on it unknowingly.
On that note, while walking on the roads during the rainy season, it is important to scrutinise your immediate environment for fallen electric poles or loose electric wiring. Your life could just depend on it.
For motorists, driving on the roads during this period could be a very tricky affair. For one the roads are usually slippery and wet during and after rainfall. The possibility of one’s car skidding off the roads during this period is on the high. This is a good point in the argument for speed limitation while driving. Motorists have been reportedly cautioned by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other traffic management agencies against over speeding.
If there was ever a more important time to heed such warnings, it is definitely during the rainy season. It is better to be like the proverbial tortoise whose motto is ‘slow and steady wins the race” than to be in unnecessary haste and end up like the Lion who saw his reflection in the water, got annoyed that there was a rival in his territory and speedily dived into the well.