Don, group warn against sewage pollution, improper waste disposal
A varsity don, Prof John Arubayi has warned of severe health implications from the pollution of groundwater due to improper management of sewage-effluent in different parts of the country especially in the Niger Delta region.
He said the effect of wastewater leaching into adjoining aquifer and soil could be responsible for the strange diseases ravaging some communities whose sources are not yet known.
The university teacher made the submission during the first Inaugural Lectures at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta state, he delivered, titled: “Mapping the Earth’s Electrical Resistivity Contrasts in Search of Oil and Water for Man’s Survival”.
Arubayi who is also deputy vice chancellor of FUPRE equally expressed concerns over the unhealthy digging of boreholes close to septic tanks in most crowded areas and canvassed proper spacing between boreholes and septic tanks more healthier living.
He cautioned amongst others that improper disposal of sewage-effluents from soak away or pit latrine systems pose serious threat to groundwater pollination and soil contamination as waste water leaching from oxidation chambers could eventually find its way into the adjoining aquifers and soils.
Arubayi equally warned that boreholes in residential areas in coastal communities should be made deep and water subjected to test for contaminants before use. The Vice Chancellor of FUPRE, Prof Akii Ibhadode, said the maiden inaugural lecture had been rewarding as it illuminated the critical human areas of research.
Meanwhile, the director of Biodiversity Preservation Centre (BPC), Dr. Edem Eniang, has asserted that, if the current ways of disposing waste in the country is not checked, there is likely going to be an outbreak of epidemic.
He made this assertion in Uyo, while speaking with journalists at a public exhibition, organized the group.Dr. Eniang who is a lecturer at the department of Forestry and Natural Environmental Management, University of Uyo, warned that, indiscriminate disposal of waste by state government refuse agent is capable of spreading novel diseases in the next 25 years.
According to him, waste materials dumped in borrow pits, ravine and other unauthorized dump sites naturally find their way through underground water channels to streams, rivers and end up in human system through drinking water.
“Waste deposited on farm lands and other dumpsites will naturally find their way to streams, rivers and bore hole. The toxic waste from the decomposing waste contaminates the major source of drinking water for thousands of people across the country.
“These sources of water when not specially treated have been discovered to endanger human and aquatic life. Now, we have records of strange diseases that have no medical history, all these are coming from improper waste disposal which pollute the air, land and water,” he said.
Dr. Eninag who also serves as, advised the federal government to adopt a more appropriate waste disposal system for kitchen or farm based waste, paper and electronic based waste.
He stressed that proper management of waste would increase internally generated revenue of government. “What you call waste can be turned to wealth”, which is now a global phenomenon.