Engineers call for effective management of environmental hazards

The Nigerian Institute of Environmental Engineers (NIEE), Abuja Chapter, has called for effective management of the environment to avoid the spread of hazardous diseases across the country.

The Chairman, NIEE, Mrs Lynda Elesa, said this on Tuesday, at the 2022 Valerie Agberagba Clean, Renewable and Energy Efficiency Competition (CREEC), and Public Lecture, in Abuja.

Elesa, who is ending her tenure as the chairman this week, said the engineers had gathered about 12 schools in the FCT for environmental competition.

She said that the essence of the competition is to help the students know more about the importance of cleanliness, and part of the activities to honour the CREEC.

She said the aim of the programme is to promote the principle of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as helping the next generation to use their creative minds and capacity to utilise renewable energy.

She said the programme will also develop energy efficiency and proffer solutions for environmental sustainability in Nigeria.

Elesa said: “The competition and the lecture were organised by an icon in renewable energy to equip the next generation of clean energy entrepreneur innovators.

“It is also expected that the students will be one of the environmental change makers in their communities and the country at large.

“The students are also expected to identify the environmental problems and provide solutions to address the challenge.

“It is important to know that the environment is an essential part of our existence and if properly managed, it can be a productive resource which can increase our economic growth not only for today, but for the generations yet unborn.

“If poorly managed, it can easily be hazardous which can cause illness to individuals.

“Due to ignorance, poverty, over population, greed, among others, people have refused to do the right thing and don’t care about taking proper care of our environment.

“Filthy environment has caused natural disasters such as biodiversity, floods, transmission of communicable diseases and others. It is good for us to know that if the environment is not healthy, everything within it is in danger.”

Former Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Umar Jibrin, said in his lecture on “Innovations for Environmental Sustainability in Nigeria,” that he has captured all aspects of environmental challenges in the country.

It is important to know that the environment is an essential part of our existence and if properly managed, it can be a productive resource which can increase our economic growth not only for today, but for the generations yet unborn.

Environmental degradation

Jibrin, also a guest speaker, said environmental degradation has been a global problem, adding that a lot has to be done to tackle the challenges.

“The lecture captured all the matters of flooding, solid waste management challenges, issues on lack of adequate water supply which has been taken care of.

“We need to actualise the solid waste management and other challenges. This can only be possible if other private sector operators can join to ensure that we tackle the issues,” he said.

Also, the General Manager, Renewable Energy and initiator, CREEC, Mrs Valerie Agberagba, said the engineers organised programmes for the students to teach them the importance of renewable energy.

“There are a lot of talents from the younger generation, so the competitions will go a long way to tackle environmental challenges in the country.

“The workshops and seminars, organised for the students, will expose them to what these technologies are,” she said.

Similarly, The National Chairman of the NIEE, Sesan Odukoya, noted that environmental challenges brought about the Valerie Agberagba Initiative, a key development to increase and upgrade businesses and technologies.

“Innovation can as well stand as a new idea and knowledge. Renewable energy, power, among others, are major sources of energy that promote development in the country,” he said.

The Executive Director, (Network), Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd., Ife Oyedele, said a lot of work has been done to fund renewable energy in Nigeria.

“Government is trying its best to ensure that renewable energy is sustained. The private sector should support the government to effectively build the growth of renewable energy in the country.

About 12 students from various schools in the FCT participated in the environmental sustainability competition.

Government Junior Secondary School, Area 11, took the first position and was awarded N200,000, while Junior Secondary School, Kwali, took second and given N150,000, and the third position went to JSS, Chukuku, which was awarded N100,000.

Miss Anumkwen Wandermum, from JSS, area 11, who spoke on behalf of other students, appreciated the NIEE for giving them the opportunity. (NAN)

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