Our environment will determine survival of coronavirus, says minister
Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has explained that the nature and location of the environment determine the survival of Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Lassa fever, among other vector-borne diseases in the country.
Abubakar added that the ministry was keen at ensuring that the Nigerian environment was kept clean and tidy for healthful living.
Speaking at the National Environmental Response Campaign to eradicate Lassa fever in the country, through what he called ‘deratisation,’ he noted that the environment, being the most significant determinant of health plays an important role in disease causation.
“Today’s programme, therefore, promises to be the entry point for comprehensive environmental response henceforth. It is imperative to ensure the reduction of rodents through sustainable use of safe, effective and easy to handle rodenticides through deratisation. This approach is essential in curtailing the breeding of rodents, especially the mammalian rat,” he said.
The minister said the ministry’s environmental health officers, their counterparts from Kaduna State and local government areas, designed the exercise for execution in Kaduna.
“The ceremony signals the coming of a new dawn in environmental health control of housing in Nigeria as the de-ratisation programme will be taken by the ministry to as many states as possible,” he added.
He urged state governments to cascade the initiative further down in a manner that will witness a rapid reduction of rodent infestation in homes, offices, schools, hospitals and commercial centres.
Meanwhile, following the case of Coronavirus recorded in Nigeria, the Bauchi State House of Assembly has expressed concern over the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in some parts of Bauchi.
Majority Leader of the House, Tijjani Aliyu moved a motion to criminalise the act, which he said, would save the state from avoidable diseases, lamenting that it was disheartening that the state Capital was filled with refuse despite the outbreak of diseases like Lassa fever and Coronavirus.
Tijjani said: “People dump refuse on the roads, shops, houses and everywhere. All efforts to stop this culture proved abortive. That there are no much-designated areas for the dumping of refuse. As a matter of urgency, the government should buy plots and designate them for the dumping of refuse before endemic diseases befall on the people of the State,” he warned.
Also, Deputy Speaker, Danlami Ahmed Kawule, said the matter was important as it affects all citizens, explaining that the dangers of indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said, causes diseases that could bring damages to the victims and the people.
He said there are designated areas for such purpose but the government should provide additional places for the dumping of refuse.
Also speaking, Saleh Hodi Jibir lamented that although the state government has put in place some measures to sanitise the environment, which include Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) monthly sanitation and some engagement of companies for clearing refuse, not much has been achieved.