United Nations Association (UNAN) Celebrates 2020 World Environmental Day



Mitigating the amount of pollution means less waste to control, treat or proper disposal of chemical substances. Less pollution means less hazards posed to public health and the environment. It’s however, important for us as humans to understand that biodiversity is entangled between human beings and everything that makes our world active from Nature to the animals, our climate and our cities which must be protected at all cost.

There have been changes in our climate conditions for the past decades; it has never remained the way it used to be. However, it is not a strange feeling to discuss our environment especially during this period the world is faced with a pandemic that has put so many things to stop for the past months, affecting over six (6) million people in the entire World. Adjusting to this new normal will entail not only beating COVID-19, but also beating environmental pollution for Post-COVID wellness.

Sustainable approaches to mitigate pollution can be applied to all potential and actual pollution-generating activities, including those found in energy usage, agriculture, consumer and industrial sectors. Prevention practices are essential for preserving wetlands, groundwater sources and other critical ecosystems – areas in which we especially want to stop pollution before it begins to take drastic effect on the environment and life.

When we put our environment at a high risk from any form of pollution, it doesn’t only affect the things around us but, the effect on our health is more hazardous. As Nigerians, we must watch out for our space as it affects us directly. Pollution prevention reduces both financial costs (waste management and clean-up) and environmental costs (health problems and environmental damage). Pollution prevention protects the environment by conserving and protecting natural resources while strengthening economic growth through more efficient production in industry and less need for households, businesses and communities to handle waste.

Also, pollution reduction reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions); prior to recycling, treatment or disposal. Pollution reduction reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants or contaminants.

Most of the substances that make the larger part of pollution to the environment are industrial materials. We must avoid contradicting the existence of the eco system. The production industries need to put more effort in reducing environmental havocs on Communities in which they exist and as individuals, we need to take measures of our daily use of substances that are not suitable for the preservation of the environment we live in. We must learn to “Recycle” and Use “Re-useable” materials.

Looking into how Nigeria Government had been handling the COVID pandemic, we must consider other health issues that may arise after this pandemic as a result of untidy and unclean environment considering the ongoing wet season. Protecting our environment we must take actions together for Nature; Drainage filtration, reduce plastic use and switch to reusable items, recycling, etc. We must save our environment together and avert crisis that may emerge as a result of negligence to the way we treat our environment. Crisis such as flooding in our community will require our not dropping refuse in the drainage -use the proper disposal channels to avoid erosions that can damage our living system.

Breathing polluted air puts us at higher risk for asthma and other respiratory diseases. High levels of particle pollution have been associated with higher incidents of heart problems. The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is causing the Earth to become warmer. 70% to 85% of Lagosians on daily basis are exposed to environmental pollution, directly or indirectly. Vulnerable populations may experience more health effects because these populations already have higher rates of heart and lung conditions.

In order to help conserve our environmental, we must learn to recycle properly which involves implementing recycling habits into your daily life as one of the most effective ways to help lessen landfill waste, conserve natural resources, save habitats, reduce pollution, cut down on water and energy consumption with proper conservation and slow down global warming. Replace disposable items with reusable, anything you use and throw away can potentially spend centuries in a landfill.

It’s certain that the situations we are currently facing are the most critical environmental issues in human history. Our climate, planet, life and future as a civilization are all at risk. While the magnitude of that thought can be extremely overwhelming, don’t allow yourself to feel helpless not knowing where to begin. Making small steps and adjustments in our daily routine will give us a sense of success and a yearning to attempt more.

All of us can make post-COVID environmental impact. Doing something worthy of note to solve environmental problems is a step forward to becoming more aware of the needs of our environment. We must put our environment into consideration and understand that biodiversity is intertwined with us and what makes the world around us. When we are taking actions to protecting the world, every change (big or small) we make will create a huge impact. Our pre and post COVID-19 health stability is dependent on the way we treat our environment hence we have to use our environment wisely to protect the planet.


Engr. Ganiyu Owolabi

UNA-Nigeria, Lagos

5th June, 2020