Kogi Government has urged residents of the state to take the issue of air pollution very seriously, and avoid any act that could result into environmental pollution.
The state’s Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Pharm. Sanusi Usman Yahaya made the call in an interview with journalists on Monday in Lokoja.
According to him, once the air is polluted, the quality being inhaled becomes an issue which is injurious to our health and could cause chronic diseases such as lung cancer, triggers asthma, among others.
He noted that nine out of 10 people now breathe polluted air which killed about 7 million people worldwide every year, as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He defined air pollution as ”certain gases and particles in the atmosphere that harm humans, other organisms and affect climate”.
He stressed the need to continue to remind the general public the importance of the environment, to pay attention to their surroundings as regard land and water.
”As a government, we have enacted laws through the State House of Assembly that created the State Environmental Protection Board, through the law setting up the board in 2018.
”The law has provisions that limit human activities and level of emission that is allowed from burning of fossil fuels from equipment, machineries, factories, vehicles, coals, quarry activities, among others
”It also has provision against burning of bush, solid wastes, and all other activities that release these particles and other gases as pollutants into the atmosphere.
”The right to clean air is a human right and it involves everyone; the quality of air we breath-in will determine the quality of life we enjoy’,” Yahaya said.
He noted that the type of energy commonly used in Kogi was fire wood, charcoal and coal, saying they all produced pollutants that affect the quality of the air.
He added that the state government was also discouraging bush burning through which rodents, reptiles and other disease-carrier animals migrated into homes, thereby endangering human lives.
He, therefore, called on the people to expose activities of bush burning, illegal felling of trees, charcoal production, so that those involved could be punished according to law.
”We have jingles to discourage air pollution by educating the general public on the danger of air pollution, and to desist from such act.
”Though it is not something that will disappear over night, there must be alternative which is the use of domestic gas for cooking.
”The state is providing cleaner stove that consumes less and causes less air pollution,” he said.
He noted that the state government had recently acquired clean stoves through the support of the federal government, with the bid to promoting cleaner energy.
He added that the pilot phase, which had already been brought to the state, would be given to women and households to ensure a cleaner form of energy, thereby reducing air pollution.
The commissioner said that the state government had also embarked on sensitisation workshops to sensitise the general public on their roles, to avoid 2019 flood disaster as recently predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every June 5, to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
‘The 2019 World Environment Day had ”Air Pollution” as its theme.Share this on WhatsApp