The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HMEF), Nnimmo Bassey, has called for an urgent environmental audit on Nigeria to prevent sinister consequences.
Mr. Bassey, a former director with the Environmental Rights Action (ERA), revealed in an interview that Nigeria is sitting on a time-bomb.
Given the high-level of pollution in the country, he said there is urgent need for Nigeria to audit its environment and create a master plan to detoxify it.
“We have to urgently launch an environmental audit to find out the state of the Nigerian environment,” Mr. Bassey said. “We need to know the contaminants and the things that are happening that should not happen. As we speak, all the waters in Ogoni land have been polluted and children are swimming and drinking the water while women continue processing food with the polluted water.
“We also have water bodies in Lagos that are highly polluted. I remember the case of Makoko where people live above water. I asked the residents, ‘do you fish in this water, do you swim in this water,’ and before I could finish talking, children jumped inside and started swimming and they actually fish there. When you see water bodies that are visibly contaminated, people should be careful about what they take from such waters.
‘’Some of these conditions generate problems that are not immediately visible but which put pressure on the citizens and people who live off those resources.”
He blamed the low level of life expectancy in many parts of the country and diseases to the effects of pollution caused through human interventions.
The environmental rights campaigner called for an urgent clean up of Ogoni land based on an existing audit report carried out by the United National Environmental Programme (UNEP).