Joining the global community to commemorate the 2020 and 50th edition of the World Earth Day with the theme: ‘Climate Action’, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has called for more awareness on the need to protect the environment.
“There is no better time to be reminded of the importance of a cleaner environment other than this period when a global lockdown is in force occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic,” LASEPA said in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement signed by the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, studies conducted around the world have demonstrated that there has been improved air quality in various cities since the order on restriction in vehicular movement and industrial activities was implemented.
Fasawe noted further that cities with poorer air quality were reported to be experiencing higher COVID-19 mortality rates, saying this is not surprising as higher incidences of respiratory diseases, one of the key corollaries of COVID-19 infection, have long been associated with areas with high air pollution.
The LASEPA boss stated that in Nigeria, the most vulnerable group to air pollution-linked respiratory diseases is the womenfolk, who cook with firewood and are exposed to road side vehicular movement.
Fasawe said: “Here in Lagos, LASEPA is currently carrying out investigations on air quality during this period to better understand the impact of our industrial and economic activities on the air we breathe.
“We are also partnering multilateral organisations to lay the foundation for a robust air quality management system in Lagos State, which would provide real-time air quality data for Lagosians. The outcome of these activities will further strengthen policies toward climate action as directed by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
“On the bright side, COVID-19 pandemic has shown what a unified community can achieve, as corporate organisations and private individuals have dug deep and donated resources to assist the government in managing and conquering the pandemic.”
The agency GM, however, appealed for similar cooperation with LASEPA, and by extension, the Lagos State Government, in supporting policies aimed at creating a greener and more resilient environment.
Earth Day 2020 reminds us that our environment is a shared space and only responsible action will ensure that we are well-prepared for any impending environmental disaster,” Fasawe added.