The Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers (NIEE) has sought to enhance better awareness and detection of air pollution in Nigeria.
This was evident as the institution, a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers held the grand finale of a competition ‘A Sustainable Path to Air Pollutants Detection: Developing a Low-Cost Air Quality Sensor’, which culminated on Friday in Lagos.
The event was organised by the NIEE in partnership with the Centre for Atmospheric Research-National Space Research and Development Agency (CAR-NASRDA), the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI), and a project team led by the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
In his address, the National President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, lamented the rate of air pollution in Lagos State and called on the government and relevant stakeholders to tackle the problem in order to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Represented by the Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Environmental Engineers, Abuja chapter, Engr Lynda Bitrus, the NSE helmsman noted that there is a need to monitor air pollution levels.
He said, “This event is very critical for Lagos State and its citizens because of the rate of air pollution that is being generated here. As we all know, what you can’t measure, you can’t improve upon and the best way for us to understand the situation is to have these devices that can detect and monitor these levels of air pollution in the state.
“With that knowledge, we can now plan on how to manage pollution, and from the work that has been carried out, you could see that the high level of air pollution in the state has a direct link with the health of the citizens of the state.”
The National Chairman of NIEE, Engr Sesan Odukoya, said, “Air pollution is not only in Lagos, it is everywhere because indicators showed that Osogbo in Osun State is the most polluted compared to every other state due to illegal mining activities going on there. So, the government needs to pay more attention to our health because air pollution can shorten our lifespan through respiratory diseases.”
In his presentation, the Chairman of NSE, Manchester branch, Dr Obuks Ejohwomu, disclosed that nearly 50,000 cases of hospitalisations in selected Lagos hospitals between 2018 and 2019 were due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases which have links to air pollution.