April 22 – Earth Day: How is Lagos State faring?

– by Xavier Kanu

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day now includes events in more than 193 countries, which are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Lagos, Nigeria has lots of industrial complexes that are now butted up against some housing schemes in Lagos. Growing population of Lagos creates different problems regarding residence of inhabitants. People are forced to live near industrial areas and are facing different problems. Industrial waste is often dumped with household waste and this situation is quite dangerous for all human beings. Toxic elements of wastes can create dangerous chemicals and these chemicals can be mixed into soil and groundwater. This can increase the risk of hazardous levels of iron and nitrate containment in the food and water.

Pollution in Lagos has spiked up in recent years, and the sad thing about this is the fact that it is still minimally controlled. Lagos lacks sanitary infrastructure therefore people have to suffer with poor sanitation and poor management system for solid waste. There are 200 slum communities in Lagos and almost half of these communities are labelled as “severely blighted”. Funds are provided to these communities for the management of drainage and solid waste system and for the availability of drinkable water. Still lots of communities are suffering with lack of sanitation services, because of overpopulation that is not matched with the rate of infrastructure development.

The most worrying part of this is the uncontrollable emission of dangerous gases into the atmosphere which are mostly contributed by exhaust pipes of faulty vehicles predominantly the ‘Danfos’ and ‘Trailers’. Also, 70 percent of the industry is located in the city of Lagos; therefore the level of air pollution is also high in this area. Almost, a million cars on the roads of Lagos, Nigeria consume 40 percent of total fuel of Nigeria and these cars inject almost three tons of lead into the air on daily basis. Incomplete ignition of waste at domestic and industrial level releases pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in the air.

The World is rallying on protecting Mother Earth, as science has predicted that we only have twelve (12) years to stop, control and correct the bad actions which are playing out as the adverse effects of these actions like heavy floods, heat waves and forest burning, increase in sea levels, drought etc. 2020 is the year that must see the peaking of our global greenhouse gas emissions – with emissions falling rapidly thereafter – if we hope to avoid some of the most dangerous impacts of climate change on our environment, our economies, and our futures.

It’s time to work together and save Mother Earth. We therefore calling on the Lagos State Ministry of Environment to live up to their responsibilities by enforcing some stringent laws and regulations that will help protect our environment from indiscriminate dumping of wastes, emissions of gases by faulty cars and the likes, and other actions that are against Mother Earth.

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