Stakeholders, AIRBDA boss canvass protection of rivers, streams’ rights
Prominent experts and stakeholders in rivers and streams management in ecosysyem have called on Nigerian to observe the rights of the various rivers and streams around them by desisting in polluting them.
While speaking during an event marking the 2023 World Rivers Day at the headquarters of the Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority (AIRBDA), Agbala, near Owerri, the Managing Director of the agency, Gerald Osuagwu, said it was nauseating and should be regarded as a crime, the propensity in which residents polute rivers and streams within their vicinities, lamenting that such ignoble and unwholesome acts had led to most rivers becoming sick, just as humans could.
According to him, this year’s celebration was not observed on the specified date because of the insecurity situation in the Southeast geo -political zone, pointing out that the celebration commenced in 2005 by the United Nations when it launched the ‘Water for Life Decade’, tracing the contribution of a Canadian River conservationist and advocate, Mark Angelo, being observed by over 100 countries.
He also, advocated for quick enactment of legislations and laws on protection of the natural resources, decrying incidences of industrial influence, fertilisers, bad habitation among others.
In line with the theme: “Rights of Rivers; the incredible natural and re-creational values of Rivers and Streams in Our Communities,” Osuagwu, said: “Rivers need to live just like human beings health. If it is polluted, it will be sick. Rivers should be protected by the enabling laws. Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement in taking care of them can we be assured of their health in the years ahead.”
In their paper presentations and contributions, Dr. Chinyere Amadi of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Dr. Emma Ezenwaji,
represented; by the Director of Information of AIRBDA, Kingsley Nnoshiri, among others maintained that the rivers have gone beyond mere waterways status, stressing that they are sources of observance of spiritual activities for both Christians and natives, warning that continuous pollution acts could lead to catastrophy.
Amadi, in her presentation, noted the array of usefulness of rivers, such as naturalness, ecosystem inspiration for art, music, culture, heritage; story telling sites among others, beyond being mere water ways.
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