The Lagos State Council, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has urged the Lagos State Government to protect the state’s wetlands, to save the environment and humanity.
The council made the call in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Gbenga Ekundayo, and Secretary, Mr Aladetan Abiodun, on Friday in Lagos.
It was issued to commemorate the World Environment Day, marked annually on June 5.
The theme for the 2021 celebration is “Ecosystem Restoration”.
Quoting data from the Ministry of Environment, the TUC state council said that over 87 per cent of vacant wetlands in metropolitan Lagos had been converted to high density, unplanned residential housing spaces.
It said the present practice was capable of causing untoward assaults on the ecosystem and responsible for the disruption of ecological balance and biodiversity.
“The loss of capacity of the wetlands to hold surface runoffs may cause flooding and unprecedented destruction of lives and properties of the inhabitants of the state.
“Further assaults on the wetlands can also deny residents the numerous goods and functions freely delivered by wetlands to the ecosystem and human habitats.
“These include flood storage, and distribution; retention of sediments and nutrients; aesthetics; educational benefits; aquifer recharge; ground water quality improvement, and a host of other benefits which unrestrained assaults on the wetlands may deny Lagos residents,” the council’s statement said.
It also urged the government to intensify efforts in greener environment campaign to be tagged #GREENERLAGOS.
The council called on house owners in the state to be encouraged to plant and nurture at least one tree.
It said the creation and maintenance of green parks had become more compelling.
The TUC state council said that there was an urgent need to empower members of Kick Against Indiscipline outfit to enforce cleanliness in the environment.
“Drainage cleanup must be sustained and improved, while the government must ensure public transport compliance with dirt management.
“We equally want to appeal to the government to expedite actions on such environmental issues as open defecation, which has direct effects on the health and wellness of Lagos residents.
“Also, noise pollution, air pollution, indiscriminate disposal of untreated sewage into the lagoon and water bodies as well as pollution of groundwater.
“The state is charged to improve on the installation of eco-friendly, effective and efficient sewage plants that will ensure the treatment of sewage and other waste water before release.
“This will prevent prevailing pollution of groundwater in the state and avert outbreak of diseases that may cause national or global emergencies.
“The state is equally enjoined to improve access to portable water and significantly reduce the emission of carbon monoxide from industries and automobiles,” part of the statement reads.
By Esenvosa Izah