Authority warns Nigerians against defecating inside rivers
By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
AREWA AGENDA – The Management of the Lower Niger River Basin Authority (LNRBA) on Monday admonished Nigerians to desist from defecating and dumping of refuse inside the nation’s river ways.
Dr Adeniyi Aremu, the Managing Director of the Authority made the warnings, while delivering a speech to mark the 2022 World Rivers Day celebration in Ilorin.
He explained that defecating inside rivers will pollute the waterways and predispose people to water borne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.
“Open defecation usually occur next to river ways, so that the river can carry it from one location to another.
“The day themed: ‘Rights of Rivers’, is set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the world’s waterways and river systems in order to highlight the many values of rivers and increase public awareness around river,” he said.
He asserts that marking day will serve to promote and improve stewardship of all rivers around the world.
Aremu pointed out that the theme is apt as it recognises the incredible natural, cultural and recreational values of our rivers and streams as well as the extent to which they add to our quality of life.
“The celebration is intended to draw attention to the Nigerian rivers that are in degraded states and facing increasing pressures associated with pollution, industrial development, urbanization and climate change mostly due to human activities.
“Rivers are arteries of the planet and need it’s course too flow. We must let water unite us as we cannot live without water, ” he said.
Aremu encourage regular cleaning of drainage and desalting of our rivers channels in Kwara and Nigeria as a whole.
Citing the Yalu river in Ilorin, as an examples, he explained that the River is the main tributary of Asa River which is a major domestic sources of water supply to about 50 percent of people in the city.
According to him it is therefore pertinent that we bring the attention of the public to the effect that whatever untreatable emerging pollutant from this river goes back to the community for consumption.
“The availability and quality of water have always played an important role in determining the quality of life.
“Hence, there has been increasing global concern in recent times, over the public health effects attributed to water pollution in particular, the global burden of diseases,” he said.
Also speaking, Mrs Remilekun Banigbe, the Kwara Commissioner of Environment emphasised the importance of Rivers to humanity and the need to save Rivers for future generation.
She observed that over 600 countries are marking the day, adding that millions of the world population depends on rivers for their daily livelihood.
Banigbe who was represented by Mrs Elizabeth Samuel, an official of the Ministry explained that the state government planning on ways of utilising the Asa River to solve some critical needs such as in food security and health.
She lamented that Rivers are under threat caused by human activities including acid rains, dumping of industrial effluent and discharging refuse among others.
The Commissioner warns that by 2050 there will be more plastic wastes than fishes in the Rivers.
She therefore advocated recycling of plastics and other materials as a way of curbing dumping of refuse in water ways.
Also in her paper presentation, Mrs Mojibola Akinpeloye, the Assistant, Chief Administration of the Authority observed that Rivers are important neighbor of Nature which brings succour to life.
She added that Rivers are habitat to some creatures, serve as a means of transportation, and also a source where we get water for drinking, industrial activities and for agricultural purposes among other.
Akinpeloye therefore advised people to recycle rather than dump plastics in Rivers and avoid pollution through Human activities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that highlights of the event include cleaning of the Yalu River in Ilorin by the management of the authority.