An estimated 4.3million deaths occur yearly due to indoor air pollution from household cooking, while about 3.7million deaths occurs as a result of outdoor pollution; according to former Minister of Industries, Chief Dr. Nike Akande.
Akande who presented a keynote address at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Annual Research Conference and Fair, which held on Tuesday stated that pollution, particularly in household leads to respiratory diseases such as asthma, sore throat, eye problems, among others.
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According to him, dusts from bad roads, emission from vehicles, burning of wastes, bush burning, blasting and coal mining among others enhance air pollution, which affects human beings and results in premature deaths.
She identified water pollution as another threat facing mankind, adding that climate change affects water quality and water eco systems.
“The International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) posits that global surface temperature has increased by 0.74 degrees centigrade in the last 100 years. Global warming is therefore not strange.”
“Extreme weather conditions resulting in increased temperatures will result in floods and draughts which will affect water quantity and quality. For instance, during draught period, there is an increase in pollutant concentration. It is interesting to note that a draught affects water quality as physical bacteria and other components tend to flow in the water. In urban areas, the water bodies are polluted through dumping of industrial waste, retroactive substances making it unfit for consumption,” she said.
According to the World Health Organization, about 2million people die from contaminated water yearly while an estimated 115 people in Africa die every hour, from diseases associated with poor sanitation, poor hygiene and contaminated water.
Dr. Akande posits that as temperature continues to rise, farmers from urban communities around the world will face more challenges from increasing weather patterns affecting production resulting in high rate of land degradation.
“Going by the World Bank Projection, climate change impacts livestock production. Empirical evidence has shown that climate change impact will be more prominent on developing nations especially those in Africa. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cost approximately 250,000 additional deaths and the direct damage to health could possibly rise to $4billion by 2030 according to the United Nations. The constant change in climate will also affect species in Africa including Nigeria,” she said, calling on the manufacturing sector to embrace available technologies.
The conference themed, ‘Saving the Earth’, held at a time of environment threats from air pollution.