By Edith Nwapi
An Environmentalist, Dr Cecilia Powl on Wednesday urged residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to plant trees and flowers, which are environmental friendly, around their homes and environments.
Powl, an educationist, who owns a garden, made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja in commemoration of the World Environment Day.
She said as the rest of the world celebrate environmental day, Nigerians should not close their eyes and pretend that everything is alright with our environment.
She added that with the theme: “Air Pollution”, we need to do some little things that can go a long way to purify the air.
Those small and simple things according to her are planting of trees, flower and grass.
“Why am I saying this, studies revealed that green in plants and flowers and other things with leaves are capable of purifying the air.
“It is healthier to plant plants around your homes than cement and blocks all around you, remember also that the trees would not only purify the air but also serve as wind breakers” she added.
Powl explained that those long aged habits of the people burning bushes, indiscriminate felling of trees and controlling the weeds with chemicals could lead to air pollution and should be stopped.
She lamented that as the cities are developing in flamboyant architectures less attention was being paid to development of environmental friendly things.
According to her, people should be educated in all of these, they should be aware that some little careless things done knowingly or unknowingly could cause serious damage to the environment.
“Our leaders and those charged with the duty of preserving the environment should not only attend environmental summits and seminars but put every knowledge into practice.
“People should also learn how to respect and keep their environment safe.
“Our government and everyone should be proactive about this, I mean everyone is a stakeholder in preservation of the environment,” she said.
According to her, UN reports says approximately seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about four million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific.
Powl urged governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.
NAN reports that World Environment Day is celebrated every June 5.
According to her, we can’t stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of air that we breathe.