The managing director of the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, (BORBDA) Saliu Ahmed, has underscored the need to refrain from dumping wastes into rivers. Ahmed said this would ensure preservation of waterways, enhance economic value of rivers, and improve the health of the people.
He spoke on Monday in Benin, Edo State, during the commemoration of the World Rivers Day with the theme: “Waterways In Our Communities”.
Bemoaning indiscriminate dumping of refuse and human wastes in rivers, Ahmed noted that these human activities have not only decreased the economic value of the rivers, but also pose danger to human existence. He therefore enjoined citizens to the rivers clean at all times. He said BORDA would ensure regular cleaning of rivers in its catchment areas in order to improve their economic value.
According to Ahmed, “It is imperative to make our rivers clean because it is part of our existence. You can see the tons of refuse that were pulled out of Ikpoba River at just one spot. This shows the harm we do to ourselves. Perhaps we need to know that throwing all these into the rivers endangers our common existence, increases cost of treatment of the water of the rivers. We must endeavour to keep our rivers clean”.
He said as part of the agency’s effort to sustain the cleaning of the rivers, it would be carrying out advocacies and collaborate with the communities by making them understand the importance of the rivers.
Another speaker, Dr. Kingsley Egun, an environmentalist, said studies carried out on various sections of the rivers had raised concern about high volume of pollutants deposited in the river which had affected the water quality and the aquatic biota of the river.
Egun said “The studies further showed that this has impacted negatively on the nutritional status of fishes caught in the rivers, and also predisposes the consumers to various health risks.
“The threat to our communities’ waterways has also impacted negatively on the cultural values and the religious economy of the indigenous people,” he emphasised
The World Rivers Day celebration by the BORDA was concluded with the planting of economic trees by the bank of the Ikpoba River.
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