By Jessica Onyegbula
The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has called on the government to make legislation to end all forms of environmental pollution in the country.
The Executive Secretary, NIREC, Mr Cornelius Omonokhua, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Omonokhua noted with concern that the nation was experiencing its own fair share of environmental pollution and global warming effects.
“Our lands are polluted due to improper or lack of available dump site for domestic wastes, wrongful or excessive use of agro-allied chemicals which are mostly washed down into nearby rivers and streams thus also posing a threat to clean water.
“Our waters are polluted by direct dumping of refuse in water or water ways thus causing blockage of such water ways which results to flooding and contamination of water.
“These floods are responsible for loss of lives and property worth millions of naira on annual basis,” he said.
He said that secondly, crude oil drilling activities from the oil producing states is another aspect of water pollution mostly experienced in the southern part of the country.
“This involves oil spillage from the crude oil activities carried out in that region.
“These spillages be it on land or in water are responsible for the death of plants and aquatic animals thus making farming and fishing activities more difficult, ultimately affecting the means of livelihood of the host community,’’ he said.
Omonokhua said that improper chemical waste disposal by industries is also not left out of this.
He added that the pollution our air suffers mostly comes from emissions of carbon monoxide from automobiles and industries.
He also said that there are no stiff penalties for such emissions and as such a lot of vehicles drive around with visible emission, with heavy duty vehicles creating a dark cloud of soot while they are in motion.
Omonokhua said that indiscriminate burning of bushes and refuse also adds to the problem of air pollution in the country.
He said that the indiscriminate falling of trees without replanting, illegal mining, and so on, are all part of man’s activities that are taking a toll on the environment.
“The impact of these activities pollution resulting to climate change (climatic temperature rise) has given birth to high exposure to heat stress and ultraviolet radiation, absence of clean air, shortage of potable water, desertification and unpredictable weather.
“The fact that herdsmen and farmers are clashing over vegetation can be directly or indirectly linked to climate change.
“In order to mitigate the devastating effects of these pollutions, NIREC hereby calls on the government to make legislation particularly enabling the respective regulatory Ministries, Departments and Agencies to address and combat these crises,” he aid.
He called on all concerned industries that produce one form of waste or the other to be truly professional in their waste disposal methods and own up by cleaning up areas they have already polluted.
Omonokhua called on the Nigerian citizenry to be true nationalist by avoiding acts that could be inimical to the environment. (NAN)