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Don urges end to environmental degradation

A lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Mike Nwachukwu, has called for urgent government measures to end environmental degradation in many parts of the country.

Nwachukwu, a professor of environmental management, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Owerri.

He regretted that the environment was exposed to many risk factors, and hence had continued to suffer massive degradation.

He blamed the unfortunate situation on the lack of a sustainable plan for handling the nation’s natural resources and infrastructure development.

He said that the activities that had been going on in the oil and gas sector from the 1970s to date had caused a lot of environmental degradation, especially in the Niger Delta region.

Nwachukwu said: “Both the soil, waterways and air have been grossly polluted.

“Today, there is a lot of gas flaring going on, which was not the case between the 1960s and 1970s.”

He said that the whole of Izombe and Oguta communities were being exposed to gas flaring daily, leading to both air and water pollution.

He also said that mining activities, such as hard rock quarry as well as soil and sand excavation had contributed immensely to the degradation of the environment.

Nwachukwu argued that such activities had made the soil vulnerable to severe erosion in most communities.

He said: “This country has never had any serious waste management policy.

“Consequently, the indiscriminate dumping of waste leaves the soil as well as the surface and ground waters sufficiently contaminated.

“Also, Nigeria has never had any sanitary land field.

“Every state ought to have sanitary land fields to protect the entire environment.

“Unfortunately, what we have instead is the dumping of waste all over the place.”

Nwachukwu also identified the proliferation of water wells in every community as well as road construction works as another contributory factor.

He said that the only way out of the phenomenon was for the state and federal governments to begin conscious and strict implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We have to follow those goals and create awareness about sustainable development.

“This will help to make sure that governors, ministers and presidents only embarked on projects that are sustainable.

“The UN discovered this weak point in many countries, including Nigeria, which was why it initiated SDGs,” Nwachukwu said.

(NAN)

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