UNDP Wants Environmental Issue to Be Part of School Curriculum
Representing the United Nations Development Program [UNDP] at the World Environment Day [WED] celebration which commenced from June 5th-eleventh, Madam Tanzila Sankoh encouraged Government to include environmental issues in the school curriculum for the children to know the essence of protecting the environment.
Madam Sankoh made the appeal at the British Council Auditorium to mark WED, organized by the Environment Protection Agency [EPA] in collaboration with partners on the theme “Air Pollution”.
She maintained that the day was set aside not to celebrate but to be used as a principal vehicle to create awareness and ask ourselves what we can do to keep the environment intact for our use.
“If we want to continue to live in good health, we have to make sure we keep our environment clean”, she told audience and mentioned that Sierra Leone faced with man-made sources of air pollution, citing the increasing vehicular traffic in the cities, bad roads, alternate technology and cooking which she said affect health of women and children as she said, they are highly exposed to risk of this nature. She suggested that illicit mining control and more trees to be planted to avert air pollution which she said causes respiratory diseases and has adverse effect on human health.
She proffered that decongestion of roads and lanes and identifying the potential and harmful effect of industry which exhibits higher quantity of pollutants.
In his statement, the Executive Chairman, EPA, Professor Foday Morriba described this year’s theme as critical for our survival on earth adding that two thousand fourteen World Health Organization report revealed that one point three million died of air pollution globally.
He highlighted that women and sick people are at very high risk of air pollution in Sierra Leone and frowned at the manner in which we are releasing carbon to the atmosphere with no regard to it adverse effect to our health. He discussed that human beings carried out indiscriminate burning of bushes, construct buildings without regard to it negative impact on the environment. Professor Morriba assured that EPA is determine to support and work along issues of environment protection, adopt policies that will help to protect the environment and develop the country. He recalled that the August twenty fourteen mudslide was as a result of human activities and encouraged all to adopt self-regulation for the protection of the environment.
He emphasized that our Government usually face with environmental problem as a result of irresponsible mining, timber logging and other illicit activities on the environment.
Delivering keynote address, Minister of Lands Housing and the Environment, Dr. Dennis Sandy reiterated that there is no way every one of us could live long if the quality of air we breathe is adversely affected and stressed on the need for us as a nation to be hygiene conscious because he said, basic hygiene practices could help divert ill health.
“We believe in the rule of law but some rules will be twisted when it comes to managing the environment”, he stated and spoke on the need to breath quality air. He deliberated that he is always ready and available when it comes to the issue of environment and he officially launched the newsletter.
The Chairman of the occasion, Alie Dukuray Jalloh who is Head of Chemical Control at EPA described air pollution as a mixture of gases include nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbondioxide and inert gases and sensitized that nineteen seventy two, the UN General Assembly assigned WED and described June itself as an environmental month. He discussed that for the last five years our environment has been pollution related and emphasized on the challenges involved in overcoming air pollution in the Sierra Leonean context.
In his presentation, Deputy Director of Forestry, Sahr Kelly maintained that they fight for the right of trees to live as any living thing and stated that trees don’t need us but we need trees for our survival on earth. He stressed that without human being trees could exist but man cannot exist successfully without the presence of plantation. “It is as a result of indiscriminate man activities that make us crying today for clean breeze. He dilated that man depend on trees for survival and clarified that trees clean the air for us and they are key in the fight against climate change and air pollution. He said our environment is surrounded with man-made pressure for the fact that he said, we cut down trees [deforestation] but we don’t replant the trees we cutting [afforestation]. Useful bacteria died as a result of deforestation which he said responsible for climate change. “Deforestation affects water cycle and leads to loss of biodiversity and causes greenhouse emission and stressed that there is no way we can live without conserving existing trees. He therefore encouraged farmers to move from upland to inland farming system as he said it causes no harm to the environment and concluded by admonishing the nation to practice tree planting because according to him, every tree planted plays greater role on the environment.
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