Environmental health: Our character our problem

“Nigeria good people, great nation” is an impressive rebranding mantra. I would rather agree that Nigeria is great but the character of the people is the contrary. We have from beneath and on the surface of our country all that can make a great country as America or Iceland, the most peaceful country in the world as rated by Global Peace Index GPI 2019.

Regrettably, our character wedges us back, ruining all the effort of our good leaders whose tireless effort laid this nation on the path of development. Our indecent character terrifically affects the growth and development of every aspect of our lives as Nigerians every day.

It is expected of every citizen to protect himself and his environment from factors that can pose harm to his life and property. The character of inappropriate waste disposal by some Nigerians makes today’s environment unsafe, blocks waterways that led to devastating floods every year that claims hundreds of lives and millions of naira of properties. 

But on the other hand, the actors on this prevailing problem are not only the good-manner-lacking citizen but the government of all levels, who cannot provide adequate refuse dumps cubicles, and bin as well as containers for where it’s necessary.

That failure was the reason that the good citizen also joined the other by dumping refuse everywhere and anyhow. According to a report by bioenergy consult “Nigeria generates more than 32 million tons of solid waste annually, out of which only 20-30% is collected.”

To this end, it is clearly shown to us that we are the architect of our problems. Inappropriate dup of refuse can have an impact on our lives. Therefore, it is not an offence to patiently wait holding a waste to the proper dumping point, rather a symbol of patriotism, honesty, good character and an advocate of healthy environment.

Therefore, government must ensure provision of refuse dumps containers, bins and proper incineration centers in every knocks and crannies of the country. Government should also provide timely solid waste collection which can also form part of economic diversification effort.

Stella Jackson,

Department of Mass Communication,

University of Maiduguri

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