EN­VI­RON­MENT Kano tan­nery op­er­a­tors warned Cli­mate Change: Hy­dro­ge­ol­o­gists warn on against de­grad­ing the en­vi­ron­ment ef­fects on wa­ter re­sources

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - By Chidimma C. Okeke From Romoke W. Ah­mad, Ilorin

The Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Stan­dards and Reg­u­la­tions En­force­ment Agency (NESREA), Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam has read the riot act to tan­nery op­er­a­tors in Kano State, warn­ing them to de­sist from de­grad­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Dr Anukam who de­scribed Kano as a strate­gic in­dus­trial hub, re­gret­ted that it is now be­ing abused and used as a hot spot for en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, a state­ment from the agency said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it was rather dis­turb­ing and un­for­tu­nate that the en­vi­ron­ment is be­ing se­ri­ously im­pacted as a re­sult of their reck­less at­ti­tude and dis­re­gard for en­vi­ron­men­tal laws and reg­u­la­tions, stress­ing that it is a lot easier to de­stroy than to build.

“This can­not con­tinue; we would not let one in­dus­try or the other pull down what we con­sider our com­mon her­itage,” he added.

The NESREA boss said it is dis­heart­en­ing and a pointer to com­plete dis­re­gard for hu­man lives, a sit­u­a­tion whereby de­spite re­peated vis­its by agency of­fi­cials, fa­cil­ity own­ers still refuse to com­ply.

“Where you refuse to do the right thing, the rules will au­to­mat­i­cally ap­ply; we can­not fold our hands and watch, this is to­tally un­ac­cept­able. We are not in­ter­ested in sanc­tions, but if we are forced to, then we shall wield the big stick”, he warned.

Dr Anukam ex­plained that the del­uge of com­plaints and the steady flow of neg­a­tive re­ports about their ac­tions had ne­ces­si­tated this sec­ond meet­ing, say­ing, “no­body is above the law; you need to run your in­dus­try in such a way that your ac­tiv­i­ties will have min­i­mum neg­a­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment or none at all. ”

He how­ever, called for the pro­cure­ment and in­stal­la­tion of an­tipol­lu­tion equip­ment with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

“Gone are the days when en­vi­ron­men­tal rules are taken for granted; we must aim for bet­ter and cleaner en­vi­ron­ment; this is where our chil­dren are go­ing to live, ” he said.

Ear­lier, the Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral and his team had con­ducted an on-thes­pot in­spec­tion of some fa­cil­i­ties in Sharada, Bom­pai and Challawa ar­eas, where erring fa­cil­ity op­er­a­tors were in­stantly queried on reck­less op­er­a­tions. The Nige­rian As­so­ci­a­tion of Hy­dro­ge­ol­o­gists (NAH) has called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to save the coun­try from the calamity that may emerge from pol­lu­tion of wa­ter by ur­gently tak­ing nec­es­sary ac­tions that dis­cour­age such act.

The as­so­ci­a­tion also tasked the gov­ern­ment to cre­ate pub­lic aware­ness to make peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate is­sues of cli­mate change, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic im­pacts on the man­age­ment of wa­ter re­sources.

The NAH in a com­mu­nique is­sued at the end of its 29th con­fer­ence in Ilorin with the theme: “Strate­gies to Achieve Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals (SDGs) in wa­ter” signed by its na­tional pres­i­dent, Ehidi­amhen Olumese also en­joined the Na­tional As­sem­bly to act fast on pas­sage of the wa­ter bill be­fore it into Act say­ing it is ur­gently needed to strengthen the gover­nance struc­ture in the wa­ter sec­tor.

The hy­dro­ge­ol­o­gists ob­served with con­cern, the ef­fects of en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­na­tion and pol­lu­tion of sur­face and un­der­ground wa­ter re­sources.

They were of the view that there is the need for the gov­ern­ment to recog­nise the ef­fects of cli­mate change on wa­ter re­sources, and the in­cor­po­ra­tion of such knowl­edge into var­i­ous de­vel­op­men­tal ef­forts aimed at achiev­ing the SDGs in the wa­ter sec­tor.

The as­so­ci­a­tion ad­vised the gov­ern­ment to in­sti­tu­tion­alise good gover­nance and best prac­tices in the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the sev­eral projects in the sec­tor.

The NAH called for train­ing and re­train­ing of hy­do­ge­ol­o­gists and other rel­e­vant pro­fes­sion­als to ac­quire ap­pro­pri­ate skills in ground­wa­ter mod­el­ling say­ing this had be­come the cur­rent trend in sus­tain­able wa­ter re­source man­age­ment glob­ally.

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