Disturbed by costs of various dimension, an environmental expert and a Professor of Applied Geology at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Yinusa Asiwaju-Bello, has described the clean-up policy of the Federal Government on Ogoniland and Niger Delta as an exercise that cannot yield the desired results.
Asiwaju- Bello of the Applied Geology Department of FUTA stated this in his submission at the university’s 79th Inaugural Lecture titled: “Water-Rock Association: A bond of mutual Wholesomeness under Stress by Man”, which he delivered.
The don stated that no matter how much efforts and huge amount of money committed to the clean-up exercise, as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari, it would fail describing it as exercise in futility.
Pointedly, the environmental expert postulated the prevention of ground water contamination as a veritable natural resource to human existence and survival, which would avert contamination disaster.
Faulting the Federal Government approach to revamp the ecological disasters facing the Niger Delta region due to oil pollution, the don insisted that ground water contamination prevention should be given priority over clean up after pollution and contamination.
According to him, in spite of the ongoing attempt to clean up Ogoniland by the Federal Government, the devastation to the quality of the environment and groundwater will take two generations to be overturned.
“It is not just enough to for man to attempt to clean up groundwater when it is already polluted, rather man should work hard to ensure prevention of contamination of this vulnerable resource.
“No matter the technology applied, our generation and the one immediately behind us would not see a clean ground water in Ogoniland,” he said.
The don noted that there is a dire need to treasure groundwater, a natural potable fresh water bestowed on man for consumption.
He stressed that government should closely monitor and control human activities in influencing the environment through mine sites, spillage, septic systems, small disposal pits, storage ponds, underground storage tanks and fertilizers.
Asiwaju-Bello emphasised that monitoring human activities would go a long way to prevent contamination of groundwater of the type ravaging Ogoniland and to some lesser extent in other parts of the nation.
He also described land application of sludge, waste water, pesticides, herbicides, wells, animal lots, junk yards, solid refuse disposal sites, cemeteries, animal burials and atmospheric pollutants as human activities that put a lot of pressure on groundwater and contaminates it most of the time.
To reduce environmental hazard, the don recommended that all communities should organize water collection with adequately maintained drains on all roads and other household channels for open air evaporation.
“In big coastal cities, management regime should be put in place to regulate the extraction of groundwater from underlying aquifers. Conditions for pumping restrictions may have to be created by law when monitored water quality falls below a threshold level,” he said.