The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) has called on the government to enact a legislation to combat the menace of environmental pollution.
The organisation said if there were legislation with commensurate penalties on defaulters, the incidence of pollution would be drastically reduced in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of NIREC, Prof. Cornelius Omonokhua, said these in a statement in Abuja.
According to him, since there had been no stiff penalties for emissions, a lot of vehicles drive around with visible emission while indiscriminate burning of bushes and refuse also add to the problem of air pollution in the country.
NIREC is joint coalition founded by the Christian Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to foster religious tolerance and harmony among Christians and Muslims in the country.
Omonokhua expressed concern over the devastating effects of pollution on the environment.
He said, “Nigeria as a country is 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 waterways 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.
“Secondly, crude oil drilling 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. Improper chemical waste disposal by industries is also not left out of this.
“The pollution our air suffers mostly comes from emissions of carbon monoxide from automobiles and industries.
“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. Indiscriminate burning of bushes and refuse also adds to the problem of air pollution in the country.
“The indiscriminate falling of trees without replanting, illegal mining, etc. are all part of man’s activities that are taking a toll on the environment.
“The impact of these activities/pollution resulting in climate change has given birth to high exposure to heat stress and ultraviolet radiation, absence of clean air, shortage of potable water, desertification, unpredictable weather, etc.”
The fact that Herdsmen and farmers were clashing over vegetation could be directly or indirectly linked to climate change, he added.
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