Soil pollution threatens food security in Nigeria

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High rate of soil pollution is threatening food security in Nigeria, President of Soil Science Society of Nigeria, Professor Bashiru Raji has warned.

He gave this warning in a statement in Abuja on the 5th of December as part of activities to mark the World Soil Day, which is celebrated to highlight the important role of soil to the survival of the humans.

“Soil pollution, a hidden danger underneath our feet is real and poses a greater threat to food security, human health and the environment.

“The most visible cases of soil pollution in Nigeria are the intractable pollution from the oil and gas in the Niger Delta region.

“The case of Lead (Pb) poisoning arising from the artisanal gold mining in Zamfara State in 2010 where over 700 children died is still fresh in our mind,” he said.

Professor Raji stressed that there were several undocumented and under-reported cases from the untreated effluents from the potential 3,000 industrial locations in Nigeria and biomedical waste disposal from the over 23,640 private and public hospital and clinics posing great danger from their radioactive, infectious and cancerous contamination of the soils and water resources.

He listed other possible causes of soil pollution to include agricultural activities, artisanal mining activities, inappropriate domestic waste disposal and continual use of plastic and Nylon.

United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) reported that Nigeria has the highest burden of air pollution in Africa and the 4th globally, killing 150 people per 100,000 Nigerians.

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