A year of contagion and conflagration in Port Harcourt. But while the true extent of COVID-19’s spread has been invisible to most people because of the near total absence of testing, the major fires this year have been visible across the city. Three market fires already, numerous domestic fires and the regular burning of oil barges in jetties and the creeks that fringe the city. The state fire service, severely underfunded, has not been able to bring any of these outbreaks under control. If they respond at all.
Standing in the ashes of Plank Shed market, the urgency of a city vision for a safe, sustainable urban future is burningly clear.