Nigeria currently generates 24 million tonnes of waste annually at refuse dumpsites across the country, an environmental expert has said.
Dr Chukwukelo Chukwogo, the Managing Director of Boskel Nigeria, made the claim in the official bulletin of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), a copy of which was given to News Agency of Nigeria in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Chukwogo made the claim when he delivered a lecture in the university.
He said that the nation’s poor waste management culture had been having some adverse effects on the environment, while exposing the citizens to serious health challenges.
“Indiscriminate dumping of waste in Nigeria has increased the generation of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and this is partly caused by rapid urbanisation and poor waste management in the country.
“Microbial load at dumpsites poses a great threat to scavengers and the society at large, as the scavengers serve as routes for the transmission of certain pathogens to the society.
“If urgent steps are not taken in the short term, open dumpsites would continue to grow, resulting in the production of more greenhouse gasses.
“This is quite disturbing because greenhouse gasses pose greater danger to a population’s life expectancy than malaria,” he said.
Chukwogo said that the closure of open dumpsites which released greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere was equivalent to the removal of millions of trucks from the roads.
He said that open waste dumpsites, which were still tolerated in the country, had been eradicated in several countries in the last 30 years.
He urged the Federal Government and the authorities of UNIPORT to establish a waste management treatment centre and an institute to perform researches on environmental themes.