The burning of tyres in villages, towns and cities across Nigeria especially at every New Year eve, is becoming popular among young Nigerians and some adults.
Investigation has revealed that some of those who indulge in it, see it as a way of welcoming the new year, while for others it is just for fun.
Aside from those who burn tyres at every new year eve, there are still some who do it for commercial reasons, which include extracting wires with the view of selling them for money.
Similarly, in most abattoirs in the country tyres are used for curing animal skin.
It would be recalled that last year, the tyre dump at the Port Harcourt flyover was set ablaze by some unknown persons.
Meanwhile, some environmentalists and members of the civil society have described the act as unfriendly to both the environment and human health.
A cross section of respondents who spoke on the issue said that burning of tyres add to the depletion of the ozone layer.
They also said that the situation is not health friendly as the consumption of meat roasted with tyres and inhaling of fumes from burnt tyres can cause series of health challenges.
A medical doctor at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) who spoke under condition of anonymity said that the situation is also adding to the black soot situation.
He said that the odour is offensive especially within the environment, where the tyres are being burnt.
The medical practitioners stressed the need for those working in abattoirs to evolve a better means of preparing their meat, while the government should evolve measures to check the incessant burning of tyres.
Also speaking, the programme manager, Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) Mr. Steven Obodoekwe said that time has come for policies that will check the incessant burning of tyres by some members of the society. Mr Obodoekwe also described as senseless, the incessant burning of tyres on every new year eve.
According to him, “I don’t really know why people take delight in burning tyres on new year eves, saying they are burning the old year away.
“They don’t have the time to pause and consider the implications of their actions to the environment and health of the populace.”
He further said that burning of tyres add dangerous substances to the environment that are harmful to human existence.
“When tyres are burnt, some amounts of dangerous hydrocarbon are released into the atmosphere. This adds to pollution of the environment.
Obodoekwe also added that the situation was one of the causes of the black soot.
Also speaking, a former president of the Nigerian Environmental Society, (NES) Mr. Olu Ndi Ogosu described the situation as dangerous to the environment stressing that it is partly responsible for the present environmental problems facing Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta.
He stressed the need for actions on the path of the authority to checkmate the problem.
On his part Prince William Chinwo, an Environmentalist, who condemned the act stressed the need for the government to set up a recycling plant for disused tyres.
“The tyres can be used for craft works such as boat padding, water proof rapt and craft construction, shoe soles, rain boots and rubber hoe designs. Chinwo said that, tyres can be used for the construction of upholstery seat stands knee elbow and protecting pads for safety wares, robber losing among others.
He said that the society is loses millions of naira through the burning of tyres.
Also speaking, Mr. Belema Nyeduko said that proper management of disused tyres can create employment appointments for thousands of unemployed youths in the society.
He stressed the need for the government to ensure proper safeguard of the tyre dump at the Port Harcourt Flyover to ensure that it is not set ablaze by hoodlums again.
Other respondents expressed similar sentiment over the issue in line with expert advise, it is hoped that both the Federal and State Government will come up with legislations to check the trend and save the environment from further pollution.
Stories by John Bibor & Tamunoseipiriala Okweinkiki
We’re Hopeful Of Passage Of Water Resources Bill -Minister
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has expressed hope over the passage of the National Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly.
Adamu expressed the optimism while answering questions on the sidelines of a two-day training for Water Resources Correspondents, Editors, and News Analysts in the Nigerian Water Sector’ with theme, ‘Reporting Water in its Perspective’.
The Tide source reports that the training is to build capacity of reporters on water resources sector by having deep knowledge of terminologies and issues in the water sector.
The Tide also recalls that the Bill, which was introduced in the 8th Assembly, caused outrage as some Nigerians interpreted the law as a power grab by the federal Government.
“It is part of our roadmap as far as I am concerned. We will continue to engage with the National Assembly, now that they have come back from recess, we hope to engage.
“At the same time, we are talking to all other antagonists to allay the fears to accommodate whatever apprehension. We are very confident that we’ll get that bill passed,” the minister said.
He further stated that it was wrong for a section of Nigerians to completely criticize and condemn the whole Bill instead of pointing out areas that needs to be reconsidered.
“It doesn’t make sense if you have problem with the Bill; identify the key issue or problem if there is need for amendment instead to completely condemn just because of one or two items you are not satisfied with.
“In the National Assembly, you have public hearing, and we will still go back,” the minister said.
Community Residents Flay Dumping Of Sachets, Bottles In Drainages
Some residents of Eneka Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State have condemned the indiscriminate dumping of water sachets and bottles in drainages and along the road in the community.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in the community, they said the situation is not only an eyesore but responsible for incessant flooding being witnessed in the community.
Mr Chibuike Adim, indigene of Rumuoji Eneka condemned the practice, adding that it is this practice that blocked the gutters and caused flashed flooding in some areas in the community.
Adim called on the state government to save the community from the practice by constituting the tax force to check this habit.
He also said those who engaged in this practice are not only uneducated but also foolish, stressing that such people must be dealt with according to the law.
Also speaking, Miss Patience Odum also condemned the practice but added that there is no designated refuse dump site in the community.
Odum also urged for the provision of refuse receptacle in the area while the Rivers State Waste Management agency (RIWAMA) should also monitor the activities of the people.
Also speaking, Miss Alice Nsikak, a student of Rivers State University said the practice has become a big problem to the community as the entire drainages are blocked.
She stressed the need for sensitisation of the residence against the practice.
Nsikak also called on government to improve the method of refuse collection by providing waste bin to homes on the streets.
According to her, “people could be asked to pay little amount of money every month”, adding that the proposal will check the menace as well as check flash flooding in the community.
Also speaking with The Tide, Mr Ndubuise Ogom confirmed that dumping of plastic materials, refuge and pure water sachets in the drains is a very common practice in Eneka and also felt very bad about this practice.
This practice, added, must be stopped by government by promulgating laws to punish offenders. This if done, will prevent people taking part in such practice. He suggested, a fine of N1000 be slammad on those dumping refuge and plastic containers in the gutter.
By: Oribim Nyanaa Ibama, Elendu Obochi Esther & Inimgba Favour Victor
UNESCO Laments Impending Collapse Of Biodiversity …Says Human Survival At Risk
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has raised alarm at the unprecedented speed which biodiversity is collapsing globally.
The Director-General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay, expressed this concern at the UNESCO 33rd session of the the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB-ICC) Programme in Abuja.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain
The director-general said that with the impending collapse, not only was human survival at risk, but also the beauty and the diversity of the world.
She said that the collapse was from the treetops to the ocean depths and from vertebrates to invertebrates, adding that no species was spared.
“This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. It is what makes it so pioneering and so valuable.
“We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. With this impending collapse, not only is human survival at risk, but also the beauty, the diversity of the world.
“But this collapse is not inevitable: there is still time to make peace with the planet,” she said.
According to her, there is the conviction that we can re-forge our relationship with nature, that we can reconcile development and environmental protection.
“We must harness the power of education to rebuild our relationship with nature. UNESCO is fully mobilised to ensure that the environment becomes a key curriculum component by 2025.
“This is in line with the commitment made by the 80th governments we gathered at the Berlin conference last May.
UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years through the MAB programme and its network of protected sites, covering nearly six per cent of the planet.
With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including transboundary sites, UNESCO seeks to reconcile humans and nature and demonstrate that it is possible to use biodiversity sustainably while fostering its conservation.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the world was facing planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to her, this global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people including indigenous people and local communities, especially in the African region.
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