An environmentalist, Ms Gloria Bulus, on Monday called on the Federal Government to strengthen environmental policies and laws to curb indiscriminate burning of refuse.
Bulus, Founder of Bridge-that-Gap Initiative, a non governmental organisation, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the dangers posed on the environment by indiscriminate burning of waste.
“The government can strengthen the policies and laws on waste management especially that of waste burning, and we must ensure strict implementation and enforcement.
“There is also the need to draw up a strategic action plan that includes awareness creation on the dangers of waste burning.
“We must ensure better and effective eco-friendly waste disposal methods that include the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle).
“The government can ban single-use plastics, but before then, should provide eco-friendly alternatives,’’ she said.
She told NAN that waste burning contributed to climate change and was hazardous to human health.
“One of the dangers of burning waste is the smoke which contains pollutants. It is harmful to the environment, human and animal health.
“Some of the pollutants are dioxin, ash, carbon monoxide, small particulate matter and others,’’ she said.
The environmental protection crusader regretted that the most vulnerable were worst hit by the dangers of waste burning.
“The impact of the dangers is multiplied on groups such as fetuses, infants, children, elderly people, those with heart diseases, artery diseases and respiratory problems,’’ Bulus said.
She said that climate change was becoming more obvious and its impact increasing at an alarming rate.
“The lifestyle of some people is destroying the whole world which is our home and that of living organisms.
“Burning of waste contributes directly to climate change by adding carbon-based particles into the air, which are produced during burning.
“This results in warmer air, creating a disastrous greenhouse effect.
“These green house gases are responsible for climate change. These gases are predominantly methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
“Climate change is evident as shrinking glaciers, extreme temperatures, reduced snow covers, diminishing freshwater sources and rising sea water levels.
“All of these can easily cause an increase in flood, inconsistent rainfall, drought that hampers food production and increase in poverty,’’ Bulus said.
The environmentalist advised governments to collaborate with civil society organisations to develop an action plan for sensitisation that would be replicated and sustained in different locations. (NAN)