बुधवार, 20 अगस्त 2008

Towards environmental sustainability

DESPITE calls and appeals by both government and concerned groups (non governmental organizations) to enlighten and sensitize the public on the importance of managing and sustaining our environment for a better society, yet the calls and appeals seem to fall on deaf ears.
One thing to notice is that environment is a life partner of human and other species, and its management is compulsory, as such human beings needs to maintain a mutual and reciprocal relationship with the environment.
Basically, we know that environment is the major resources that sustain both human and other species life for development. Environment naturally has effects on our lives, whether positive or negative. A proper managed environment promotes good health and leads to societal progress, whereas on the other hand, improper usage of environment lead to high morbidity and high mortality rates as observed in densely populated areas with poor environmental management.
In essence, the sustainability of environment depends largely on government in partnership with non-governmental organizations(NGOs) to achieve a common goal. Partnership is referred to as a mutual benefit and relationship entered into by two or more organizations for the purpose of attaining a specific or general objective, which is achievable together (in partnership) than individually.
Ordinarily, when we talk of environmental sustainability in this West African sub-Sahara, what readily comes to mind is the negative concept of rampant felling of trees as fire woods, but far more than that, this is just one aspect of human factor of environmental degradation.
Environmental sustainability starts from a single household, and the way environment is properly managed, to a great extent determine the well being of a society.
As such cleared and cleaned environment with potable drinking water would ensure a healthy environment, which in turn ensures healthy family/society.
There is need for the three tiers of governments to engage in partnership with other non-governmental organizations to sensitize the public on the dangers of environmental abuse and suggest the way forward.
Also, there is need to re-define the forest law which prohibits rampant felling of trees, indiscriminately and viz-a-viz help to provide kerosene at affordable rate for the common man, which will reduce high dependence on firewood for cooking.
Factors of environmental degradation
In general phenomenon there are two factors that lead to environmental degradation, they are natural and human factors.
Natural Factor:
Natural factor includes drought, storms on sea, land, deserts such as hurricane, catrina, tornadoes etc, other natural factors are earth movement as a result of faulting and folding of earth, volcanic eruption due to compression and contorted molten magma which force its way out through crater to the mouth of volcano where it erupt violently and spread its lava over the plain at the foot of the volcano and the ashes travel on air into far distance which is harmful to both human being and plants.
Human factor:
Other factor is human factor which causes environmental degradation, this includes; deforestation, which is rampant felling of trees indiscriminately thereby extending an invitation for the desert to take over, then industrialization which is the setting up of industries in a specific area where it will be close to source of raw materials.A s a result of industrial waste and air pollution, it causes environmental degradation which is so toxic and harmful to human existence.
Similarly, urbanization as one of human factor that causes environmental degradation, especially where there is high population density, there is the tendency of violation of environmental laws and this consequently lead to out break of certain communicable disease such as Cholera, Malaria, Gastroenteritis, Anemia etc. Also war and conflict plays a vital role towards environmental degradation as human factor.
Both natural and human environmental degradation factors has side effects to our environment which includes; land degradation i.e erosion; mass movement, desertification or encroachment, pollution i.e land, water, air, noise, high rate of morbidity and mortality, famine and food insecurity, climatic change, bio- diversity as well as population displacement.
To check the aforementioned environmental problems we have to be environmentally friendly and support efforts by the government, NGOs, civil society, press etc.
Also on the part of the three tiers of governments there has to be an accelerated budgetary allocation to environmental sector, for the sustainability of the environment. There has to be a series of sequential mobilization in the media for proper enlightenment.
On the part of tree planting campaign ( TPC) , it has to go beyond federal, state andlocal governments; it has to be taken seriosly all stakeholders like the public and private educational institutions, farmers, traditional title holders were to borrow a leaf from Kano state where the ministry of environment actively collaborates with the emirate council in the tree planting campaign, based on the important role the emirate is playing towards socio-economic and political development of the state. In fact, if possible, every Nigerian should plant and nurse a seedling at least once a year.
Also, timely distribution of seedlings at the on set of rainy season would definitely help towards the up bringing of the seedlings as rain water would help in providing of water to the infant seedlings.
In conclusion, it is high time to join hands on deck to ensure the sustainability of our environment. The challenge is enormous but, by working together as a team, proper utilization and sustainable development can be achieved. To help achieve the (MDG) millennium declaration of the seven point agenda of Mr. President to ensure environmental sustainability a rigorous team work is the only alternative with a full slogan thus: “our environment is our wealth and our health”.
Uba Abdullahi is the information officer, Dambatta local government, Kano state.