Environmentalist calls for abolition of indiscriminate urban dumpsites



An environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote has urged relevant authorities to abolish indiscriminate and illegal dumpsites in urban areas.

According to him, diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, tetanus, Lassa fever and other diseases are caused by unhealthy environment.

Odubote, the founder of Gaffystone Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, made this call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

The environmentalist decried the poor attitude of Nigerians to waste management, which poses great risk to the environment and human health.

“People’s attitude towards waste management either in rural or urban areas need to change. We need to be proactive in waste management process.

“A walk around urban areas will reveal overflowing dustbins and even commuters throwing waste out of their car windows. We have heaps of open dumps; drainages filled with plastics, leaking septic tanks and untreated landfills.

“This situation keeps escalating as the population increases and as urban dwellers keep on satisfying their impulse to buy without having a rethink on their consumption.

“When waste is indiscriminately disposed, it results in unsanitary circumstances that expose humans to health risks such as diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, tetanus, Lassa fever and other health hazards.

“The heap of wastes provide breeding grounds for rodents, mosquitoes and other disease carrying agents which results in increasing mortality rate,” the environmentalist told NAN.

Odubote said that indiscriminate dumping of waste was a major cause of drainage problem in the country.

“We have noticed quite a number of flooding issues in the past as a result of people dumping waste into gutters and rivers hence affecting free flow of water.

“Some property have been destroyed as a result of uncontrolled burning of refuse dumps while the fumes give rise to air pollution and offensive odour that causes breathing difficulty.

“Also some accidents can be traced to indiscriminate waste disposal. For example, some cars have slammed into heaps of refuse at night while some children and adults have suffered a number of injuries from broken bottles, flooded roads, “ he said.

Odubote harped on the need for people take responsibilities on how they disposed their waste, while insisting that a change of attitude to waste management was paramount.

“We expect a higher level of responsibility from urban dwellers considering the space limitation, level of exposure, pollution, housing issues and the systems deployed in the cities.

“And the starting point in influencing a positive attitude to waste disposal is education and creating advocacy targeted at changing people’s mind-set towards waste.

“We need to let people know that it is bad to throw something out of your car window and that will make people have a rethink.

“The government should invest more on sensitising people on the implications of indiscriminate dumping of refuse,” he said.

Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN


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