Monitoring and strict policing of environmental freak behavioural tendencies like deforestation, burning of forests and garbage, large scale land degradations and discharge of industrial chemicals into water sources like streams, rivers, dams, lakes as well as deep and shallow wells can deliver sustainable environmental solutions and livelihoods to millions of people, especially in developing countries.
guest column: Peter Makawanya
I have mentioned developing countries because they lack some of the equipment and resources needed to tame dangers of pollution.
Also, habitants of developing countries still derive their energy sources and livelihoods from the forests.
In that regard, forest conservation literacy programmes need to be delivered to empower citizens of developing countries, not that they don’t know or they may be termed to be ignorant, but above all, to deconstruct some of the behavioural tendencies that they deemed normal for centuries.
It is also sad to note that industries take advantage of these people’s lack of knowledge of environmental issues, to discharge poisonous industrial waste into the said water sources.
Also allowing human waste discharge to creep into the same water sources is equally dangerous and it causes loss of human lives through cholera or typhoid.
Premature deaths have been caused by the mishandling of raw sewage and mixing with water sources for human consumption and it is not good for the environment either.
Wide-scale burning of forests also increases the likelihood of dirty air, with smoke compromising the state of the atmosphere, thereby contaminating the air we breathe.
In many countries, no strict follow-ups are done in order to manage the above mentioned ill practices.
In many developing countries, some citizens do not clearly understand how pollution impacts on their lives.
Some of these people are also not aware of the pending damages, including long-term effects of any of the above.
Many people have so far died, mostly of silent killer diseases that are strongly related to pollution activities.
These are quite numerous when compared to those who die as a result of accidents, be it on the roads, in industries and from unsafe working environments.
As such, it is high time people begin to link chronic killer diseases with resultant pollution deaths.
It is also high time people start worrying about pollutants around them as these too compromise the state of the environment.
In Africa and other developing countries, some people do not worry much about the production of emissions that contribute to global warming, but practices which compromise people’s health are a major cause for concern.
This is due to weaknesses and loopholes of the laws that govern pollution and all environmental activities at large.
Authorities have also not seriously come up with regulations which oversee dust pollutants from mining activities, fertiliser fumes, gases from manufacturing plants and cement manufacturers.
There isn’t also properly gazetted regulations on where malfunctioning electrical gadgets should be dumped in order to control e-waste.
Citizens of these countries just survive, but are not able to calculate the health impacts of hazardous pollutants in their midst.
It is also important for responsible authorities to enact regulations that go a long way in reducing pollution related deaths and ailments.
The idea here is not to be too smart or clever, but to save lives.
It is also for authorities to establish inventories of pollution related deaths so that they know where to start from in attempts to manage pollutions.
Of course, the air we breathe may not seem to be dirty, but the water sources are a ticking time bomb.
There are also heart failures, cardiac and pulmonary arrests, cancer related ailments, including strokes that need to be linked to aspects of pollution.
As regulations are gazetted, monitored and evaluated, they need to be done within the context not only of environmental conservation, but health improvements as well.
Peter Makwanya is a climate change communicator. He writes in his capacity and can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org