By Harmony C. Aluma
Environment presupposes the totality of physical, economic, cultural, aesthetic expressions which surrounds and affects the desirability of property which affect people’s life.
The level of illicit degradation meted on Mother Nature has reached a state of comatose. It might be rational to posit that man through his activities have raped Mother Nature to stupor.
Ozones have been depleted, trees have been irrationally hued down, population is increasing on a geometric progression, rivers and land have been polluted, all courtesy of man’s deleterious activities.
Although Nigeria is committed to a national policy on the environment to ensure sustainable development based on proper management of her resources in a manner which meets the needs of today without compromising tomorrow, yet in practice places like Aba, Onitsha,Ogun, Oyo and Lagos states remain areas that need fervent prayers.
Despite such laws as: Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA), National Environmental Standard Regulation Enforcement Act (NESREA) 2007, Forestry Laws, Wild Animals Preservation Laws, Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act, yet an Igbo man will gladly opinionate that “Ife na eme, ka na eme”.
Nature has been pushed to the wall and now she is coming back in full force, hence the outpour of natural disasters such as acidic rain, high intensity of the sun, flooding and even some sicknesses.
What then is the way forward, shall we continue to taunt nature waiting for her to fight back in full momentum. On this note, I recommend the following in a bid to salvage such situation and save nature from the shackles of toxic pollution:
- Provision of waste bins at strategic positions within the cities.
- Public participation in environmental management. It is rightly adumbrated that good health is in our hands. Participation is a fundamental principle which the public must imbibe. Human rights violations, insecurity, pipeline vandalism, youth restiveness and militancy are some of the problems associated with oil exploration and production in some of our states. Oil companies’ operations in Niger Delta have brought increased financial returns to the Federal Government, yet the negative effect of exploration has left such areas in ruins. Hence, I recommend that the government should project a means of its cleansing while the populace should key in and shun pipeline vandalism.
- The Ministry should stop the unhealthy disposal of waste product by various restaurants, companies and refineries emitting toxic gases. A case study of Crunchies Abakaliki.
- Organize public awareness campaigns to better educate the populace on the need to maintain a clean environment.
- Reforestation of trees so as to decrease the vengeful way the sun shines directly on the earth. I further propose the use of our University Agricultural students so as to better reduce cost and give the students better opportunity of practice.
- Developing of rural areas so as to decrease the rush at which the urban areas are congested
- Laws should be made on the quality of cars that should ply the road. For example, Edo State Environmental Sanitation Edict was silent on air pollution and emission from poorly maintained vehicles. Vehicle emitting toxic pollutants such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, etc. into the atmosphere is one major problem of our society.
In sum, I stand to say that if we can imagine a better world without pollution, ardently desire it, and enthusiastically act upon it, then the world will be a better place, and Mother Nature will once again smile on us and we shall suck from the bountifulness of her milky breast.