Prof. Clement Akosile, President, Nigerian Meterological Society (NMetS), on Monday said improper waste disposal was the major cause of flooding during heavy rainfall in cities.
Akosile said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, the government’s response and citizens’ attitude toward waste disposal determines how intense flooding will be during heavy rainfall.
“The habit of waste disposal determines whether there will be flooding in one area or another and how severe it will be.
“Unfortunately, our waste disposal from one city to another is the same; the citizens dump refuse anywhere and anyhow, especially when it is raining.
“That is when you see many people, especially those who do not want to pay waste bills, empty their dustbins inside the drainage systems.
“This habit needs to stop and it requires continuous awareness creation either by government or the communities themselves,’’ he said.
Akosile said that for now, once the citizens’ attitude to waste disposal changes, then the inefficiencies of government could be easily criticised and tackled.
He said to address effectively the challenges of waste disposal, governments and waste management experts should introduce waste sorting at household levels.
The NMetS’ president said that markets and commercial areas should also be encouraged to categorise their waste, for proper disposal.
According to him, this way, waste will be properly labelled and easy for recycling firms to pick them up, making room for just a few to end up in dump sites.
He said that once the drainage systems, primary and secondary canals, are filled with garbage, water would not have passage and would over run the roads, enter houses and destroy things during heavy rainfall.
Akosile said that government at all levels needed to enforce laws on waste management effectively, as well as make people know the monetary penalties involved.
He also advised the government to prevent people from building all manner of structures on drainage right-of-ways, as well as blocking the passage of water to the streams, rivers, seas and oceans.
NAN reports that since the beginning of the rainy season, massive flooding had been recorded around the country, some of which had led to loss of lives and property worth millions of naira. (NAN)