Rivers day: Authourity cleans Kwara river, plants trees

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Emmanuel kehinde,Ilorin 

The Lower Niger River Basin Authority (LNRBA) on Monday in Ilorin lay emphasis on protection of rivers in Nigeria, as they promote cleaning and planting of trees at the Oja-Iya river.

The theme of the 2023 World Rivers Day is entitled: “The Incredible Natural Cultural and Re-creational Values of Rivers and Streams in our Communities”.

Speaking on the sidelines of the programme, Dr Adeniyi Aremu, the Managing Director, LNRBDA, admonished Nigerians to cultivate the habbit of maintaining clean water bodies saying doing so is tantamount to clean behaviours.

According to him, the day is commemorated in recognition of the incredible natural, cultural and recreational values of rivers and streams, as well as to the extent to which they add to quality of life. 

“The celebration is intended to draw attention to Nigeria’s ricers that are in degraded states and facing increasing pressures associated with pollution, industrial development, urbanisation and climate change mostly due to human activities,” he said. 

Aremu warned that untreatable emerging pollutant from poluted rivers and water bodies goes back to the community for consumption thereby raising global concerns on increasing public health effects attributed to water pollution.

He appealed to people to stop all negative activities that constitute barrier on water flow in the river and encourage regular cleaning of our drainage and desilting of our rivers channel.

According to him, one of the reasons for  choosing the Oja-Iya River is that it is one of the main tributries to Asa river, which is the main source of water to Ilorin  metropolis.

The LNRBA boss emphasised the need to bring the attention of the public to the effect of pollutant that are dumped into the river are eventually consumed by the community. 

He pointed out the harmful practice of open defecation and it’s catastrophic effect on human health due to increase in whaterborn diseases and other problems associated with ingesting and and exposure ro human waste.

Also speaking, Hon. Sheu Ahmed, the Kwara Commissioner for Environment and Tourism, who qouted the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said that some 11 million tones of plastic waste flow annually into oceans and river.

He stated that studies have also shown that by the year 2050, the number of plastic wastes in rivers will be more than number of fishes and other marine animals. 

The commissioner rlamented that the rate of progress to meet the target of SDGs in 2030 is too slow, while calling on concerted efforts to achieve the target. 

Also speaking, Chief Isiaka Awokegba, the Magaji of Oja-Iya community commended the Authourity for the sensitisation of the community on the importance of Rivers and need to protect it. 

He appealed to the government for provision of proper refuse disposal across the community, so as to prevent people from dumping refuse in the rivers. 

Awokegba observed that waste water from the gutters run into the river which causes more pollution, while appealing for the construction of gutter for the use of the community.

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