By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Executive Director, GreenAid Africa and Global Coordinator of DRR Non-state Actors Network, Dr. Tabi Joda has said plastic accounts for about 10 per cent of total wastes generated in households across the globe, saying the threat of this unprecedented growth of wastes triggers humanitarian crises, hence, now is the time to reverse the trends to preserve, protect and sustain the environment for citizen’s safety.
He stated this at a lecture to mark this year’s World Environment Day organized by the Womenhood School of Health Sciences in Kaduna on Friday, June 1, 2018.
According to him, plastics degrade soil quality leading to low crop productivity which consequently result to poverty, hunger, diseases, food insecurity, and human suffering especially as a result of degradation of arable lands.
He said that plastic wastes constitute approximately 90 per cent of all floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile, while almost every farmland is partially covered by plastics.
The Executive Director adviced that government’s policy system must include environmental actions that delivers on Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, SDGs – Agenda 2030, Paris agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions, (NDCs).
Dr. Joda who is also Africa’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) champion said further that
every piece of plastic in the ocean breaks down into segments such that pieces from a single liter of plastic bottle could end up on every beach throughout the world; adding that apart from the harmful effects of plastic bags on animals, plants and aquatic life, the toxic chemical from plastic wastes are harmful to the human body when absorbed.
“With the threat of plastic wastes growing at an unprecedented scale, climate change will accelerate exponentially leading to increased ocean salinity; ocean rise, increased risk of floods disasters which could cause human displacements and consequently humanitarian crises.
“Human security consequences include vulnerable to violence. Recent studies in Nigeria indicate that displaced people in refugee camps became easy recruits into terrorist groups where their desperation is exploited over a few dollars, shelter or a cell phone.
“Our little gestures of improperly dumping plastic wastes has direct consequence on each one of us. Now is the time to reverse the trends,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, a Director of Womenhood School of Health Sciences, Mallam Nurudeen Bello disclosed that the event is to raise awareness among students, and residents of the area on the importance of clean environment, to guard against all forms of diseases associated with dirt’s.
According to him, the students were taken to the streets on what is tagged: ‘Street To Street Cleaning Exercise,’ in order to reduce the number of environmental bacteria’s in gutters. He added that the School is contributing its quota in the fight to protect, and preserve the environment through the exercise.
“All hands must be on deck to support the government preserve and protect our environments,” he said.