Pollution Causes Thrice more Death than AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria combined – Varsity Don

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Says Industrialization, Urbanization, Globalization Responsible for High Global Pollution

From: Babatunde Azeez, Abuja

University Don, Prof. Mohammed Alhassan has attributed industrialization, urbanization and globalization as major causes of environmental pollution globally.

Alhassan, Head of Department from Geography Department at the University of Abuja disclosed this in his keynote address at the International Conference on Environment and Safety held in Abuja.

He said pollution causes three times more death than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.

The HOD, who was represented by Dr. Oyelayo Abike, explained that Air pollution is responsible for 6.5 million deaths annually while water pollution (from biological pollutants, water borne and chemical pollutants) causes at least 1.8 million death per year.

According to him: “Rising pollution from Industrialization, Urbanization and Globalization affects the human environment and human development.

“Pollution causes three times more death than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. It causes 15 times more death than all wars and other forms of violence.”

“Degradation of the environment is leading to destruction of natural habitat that provides basics survival needs for human. Water pollution is leading to loss of marine output and species. Deforestation is causing low tree food production and soil erosion is lowering agricultural yield.” He added.

Alhassan who described the problems as obstacles to sustainable development, stressed that it is not an excuse for countries to stop development or compromise their pace of growth, rather it shows that pollution and growth go side by side.

However, he said sustainable development can only be achieved by combating pollution and enhancing growth.

He proffered the following solutions: “Replacing pollution boosting technologies with more environmental friendly ones ( replacing fossil fuel with renewable energy).

“Controlling and planning human population in tandem with available resources to sustain that population and the carrying capacity of the environment.

“Controlling all forms of pollution in man’s environment including air, water and land and treating the earth as a home and a life support system.” she added.

In her remarks, Deputy Executive Director, Women Environment Programme (WEP) said the organisation is collaborating with other stakeholders in coordinating an inter-ministerial dialogue to produce a compact sanitation policy, end open defication and pollution as a whole.

She disclosed that WEP has been monitoring the activities of states in the campaign against open defecation through Rural Sanitation Hygiene Program in Nigeria (ROSHPIN) in Crossriver and Benue states with the aid of UNICEF, while noting that some Local Government has attained open defication status.

She called on participating state governments to provide the counterparts funding for ROSHPIN to ensure actualization of ending open defication all over their states. She also urged other state government to key into the program.

Registrar, Environment and Safety Management Institute, Mrs Mnena, Rachel urged FG to ban use of plastic in Nigeria and appealed for the provision of more sustainable alternatives that will not be around to the environment.

She urged the media to create more awareness about stopping the use of plastic which are known to be non biodegradable elements.

“Yes they should barn it if the is a better alternative because plastic are the most available pollutants around and they can never decompose,” he stated.

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