Inappropriate waste disposal in A’ibom may cause epidemics – environmentalist

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By Christopher Tom. Uyo

An environmentalist and Associate professor of Wildlife Resources Mana-gement, Department of Forestry and Natural Environmental Management, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Dr Edem Enaing, has alerted the Akwa Ibom state government of impending epidemic in the state arising from improper waste disposal system.

He said consistent dumping of refuse collected by government approved waste management into the ravine would expose the citizens of the state to avoidable epidemic

Dr Enaing who engaged post graduate students from the Center for Wetlands and Waste management studies, University of Uyo, on a sensitization campaign in Uyo, the state capital to mark this year’s World Wildlife Day, expressed concerns about the state government waste disposal system.

He said, this year’s World Wildlife Life Day; theme, “Life Below Water for people and the planet,” was apt considering the great threat to marine mammals and biodiversity globally.

The associate professor who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Biodiversity Preservation Center(BPC) disclosed that the theme of this year’s celebration is adopted directly from the 14th item in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which talks about biodiversity and animals.

While condemning the waste disposal system of the state government, he said,”it is wrong for the state government to go round the streets of Uyo to park lorry loads of refuse only to dump them  in the ravine in this 20th century.

“We need to segregate the waste, separate plastic waste from metal, paper and food waste. You don’t lump all the wastes together and dump in the ravine, it would create more novel diseases due to environmental challenges in future. The ravine has a body of water, it is the most incredible thing that the state government is doing.”

He said the waste collected are buried with radioactive materials and impurities which eventually find their way to the land surface and are washed away by rain into the river which affects marine and human lives.

To avert epidemic in the state, the renowned environmentalist, suggested that the government should establish landfill site for proper disposal of waste in the highly populated state capital.

He said landfill is an engineering construction designed and built by tested construction companies after satisfactory study to know the baseline situation of the area, the underground water system and even the geology of the site.

“It’s sad that the government with adequate planning approves that people should take waste from the streets and dump at the ravine which is going to create greater environmental complications in the near future.”

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