Environment Day: Prof. Mamman Alhassan Calls For National Air Quality Standards To Address Air Pollution

Group picture taken by environmental experts after the event.

Head of Department, Geography and Environmental Management, University of Abuja, Prof. Mamman Alhassan, said that air pollution is one of the foremost cause of global warming responsible for climate change due to its emissions derived from transportation, cooking and bush burning and, that expedite actions should be taken against its pollution.

” There is a dire need to come together and come up with National Air Quality Standards to address the problem of air pollution in the country,” the don said.

He made the call during his opening remark at symposium organised by his department to  commemorate  “2019 World Environment Day” with the theme: ‘Air Pollution’

According to him, carbon emissions released on air daily, pollute the environment, change the climate causing delay in weather condition, seizure of rain that destroys farm production not to have bumper harvest.

Dr. Okobia demonstrating Air Testing Kit

He went on to particularly, to make a call to young Nigerians to take actions against air pollution because of its harmful effects on human health and the environment.

The purpose of the symposium is to enlighten participants and create awareness especially among the youths on air pollution, effects, how to manage and control it. It is also aimed at reorientation of the mind-set of the youths to sustainable renewable energy and environmental stewardship.

Award presentation by Prof. Alhassan.

Speaking during his lecture presentation, Federal Capital Territory Chairman of the Nigerian Environmental Society, Efegbidiki Okobia said, that people must endeavor to take certain positive attributes that will help stop air pollution.

He says, “We must take some of the positive attributes that will help stop air pollution.

“Air pollution can be either outdoor or indoor, it occurs when gases, dust particles, fumes or smoke or odour are introduced into the atmosphere in a way that makes it harmful to humans, animals and plants.

National Association of Geography & Environmental Management Students group

`In other words, it means the presence in or introduction into the air of a substance which has harmful or poisonous effects.”

Okobia said that the existence of man is connected to the habitable environment in several ways “and the air (oxygen) we breathe is a major factor”.

“This is significantly vital to human sustainability as correlations between lifestyle and air pollution can be induced by socio-economic status affecting both lifestyle and air pollution exposure.”

He said that the increasing death reports related to air pollution were most worrisome.

“ It is recorded that about seven million people die annually, one in eight of total global deaths is as a result of air pollution exposure, according to a WHO 2014 report.”

He also called on the government to drive the issue of data for effective management of the environment.

“ There is urgent need for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the environmental regulatory and policy sectors to drive the processes of data collection.

“ The world is moving towards green cities but there are increasing calls for more ambient air pollution data in mitigating critical environmental and health challenges.

“Most times when we have issues of ailments, in most cases we tie them to spiritual attacks, not knowing that environmental challenges and air pollution are major causes’’.

“The usefulness of these data cuts across sectors and will help in policy direction and national development.

Students presenting essay on Nigeria environmental issues

‘’It will also guide in trend analysis showing emission levels over a period which will help in mitigation strategies.”

He added that the existence of man is connected to the habitable environment in several ways and the air “oxygen” breathe is a major factor.

Government day Secondary School student exhibitions

Prof. Isaka Mallo of the University of Abuja in his contributory remarks, said that the problem of air pollution was in implementation and enforcement of policies

John. A. Alonge, Director – Federal Ministry of Environment (Environment Assessment Department), in his presentation enumerated actions already taken by the government towards air pollution control, and that air pollution cannot be defended if individual did not stop using uneco-friendly processes to solve energy problems.

He went further to emphasize that Nigeria government has already put a ban on charcoal exportation and that what is waiting is a  ban on its domestic use.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of award to Prof. Alhassan by his students and National Association of Geography & Environmental Management (NAGEMSITES) and his students. The organisers in other hand presented award to Friend of the Environment Society for their environmental efforts.

Government day Secondary School students presented essay on environmental abuse issues and, as well exhibited some of their inventions led by Dr. E.L Okobia who displayed Air Testing Kit and how it can be used to measure the environmental air quality.

Those that also recieved awards include -: DG Nimet for his contribution to safer environment. Vice-chancellor of the University was given Friend of Environment award, DG NASRDA etc.

 

Pamela James Reports.

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