The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Thursday sensitised the public to proper waste disposal to prevent disasters associated with improper waste management.
The NEMA Director-General, retired AVM Mohammadu Mohammed, said at a stakeholders’ meeting in Jos that imporper watse disposal had great negative impact on the environment.
Mohammed represented by Eugene Nyelong, North Central Zonal Coordinator, NEMA, said that non-biodegradable waste causes blockages to drainage systems and obstructs the flow of water during the rainy season.
“This usually contributes to flooding in Nigeria.
“The buildup of garbage could also stop the natural flow of water in rivers, streams, contaminate them and cause deadly diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and other epidemics,” he said.
The director-general explained that the sensitisation was part of NEMA’s continuous awareness creation for a disaster and risk-free society, particularly on proper waste management.
He noted that the meeting became necessary, especially now that are at the verge of the rainy season with its attendant challenges.
According to him, waste generation around the world is assuming an alarming dimension due to the rapid increase in population growth.
“Research has shown that in Nigeria, over 95 per cent of waste generated is often disposed off in an unregulated dump site or openly burned.
“Within Nigeria and particularly the North Central Zone, non-biodegradable waste generation and improper management, has been a significant challenge in the past decade.
“Studies have shown that improper disposal of waste leads to health and environmental hazards, thereby affecting the life expectancy of the citizens.
“It also has a negative impact on the environment which sometimes leads to air pollution and contributes to global warming as well as climate change,” he added.
Alhaji Shehu Usman, Chairman, Jos North Local Government, commended NEMA for the initiative, which he described as timely.
Usman said that prevention was better than cure, adding that if people internalise guidelines and directives on how to dispose waste, it would reduce the resources channelled into handling disasters which could be used for other development projects.
The chairman urged the participants to stepdown the messages to members of their respective communities.
He said that the Jos Local Government had made it a duty to consistently sensitise citizens of the area to the danger posed by indiscriminate waste disposal. (NAN)