UNN don canvasses need for national environment volunteer marshals

 Prof. Christian Madu of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), on Tuesday, stressed the need for a national environmental volunteer marshal corps, to tackle the growing menace of harmful environmental practices.

Madu, a Professor of Environmental Management and Control, said in Enugu that there was a need for concerted education and re-orientation of Nigerians on environmental protection.

Supreme reports that there had been a rise in negative environmental habits of intentionally emptying refuse inside drainages, building on waterways/drainages, indiscriminate burning of bushes and forest areas, as well as burning of respiratory injurious materials in neighbourhoods.

Others include: improper disposal of toxic wastes and effluents from manufacturing, thereby polluting natural surfaces and deep soil waters; littering or burying nylons and non-degradable materials on the soil and use of harmful agricultural chemicals on the soil, among others.

Madu said that some Nigerians, who are environmentally conscious, should be made to form the environmental volunteer corps that would be further trained on ways to deliver best environmental practices messages to the people.

According to him, with persistent and persuasive education on good environmental practices; with time you see majority of the people’s attitude change for good and to the benefit of all.

The don said that the environmental volunteer marshals should concentrate on education, rather than enforcement that would make the marshals antagonistic to the people and “public enemy”.

“We need to do a lot of sensitization. We need to do a lot of education as well.

“We should lay more emphasis on education of the people rather than using punitive measures that draws the people against a laudable project or campaign, as well as the government.

“The new environmental marshals should go out into the communities, public places and gatherings to educate our people and convince them on the benefits of good environmental practices.

“Through the education and trust established between the marshals and the people; you will see them willingly changing for the better,” he said.

Madu said that a healthy and  sustainable environment would be to the benefit of all Nigerians, even into the next generation.

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