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Essay

Ijeoma Agu

Year-Prize: The 12th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Beat Air Pollution

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BEAT AIR POLLUTION

Ijeoma Agu (Nigeria)
Honorable Mentions

 

 

        The environment has a very serious effect on the humans. When we consider the length of time of 40 years, 10 years or even a year, we’ll observe that there’s a staggering pressure on our global resources. Continuous pollution of air endangers our health and future.
         The biggest environmental issue faced in my generation is air pollution which refers to the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere. These harmful substances are known as pollutants. Some of these pollutants released into the atmosphere are due to human activities or natural occurrences. Examples of these pollutants are dust; pollen grains, carbon IV oxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide etc. which has made us face great health danger whereby we are likely to die of lung disease such as lung dysfunction and stroke etc.
          According to Google, more than 114,000 people died from air pollution in Nigeria and this is majorly caused by the release of fumes from generators, vehicle emission, smoke from industry and crop burning etc. irrespective of these problems we’re facing, I believe there are solutions to it, because my dad will always say “to every problem there are solutions attached to it”.
           In Nigeria the use of diesel generators has gotten really high due to lack of electricity supply, because they believe it has solved the problem of  electricity supply not minding the dangers they are putting theirselves in, because the moment these generators are powered on they are some harmful gases that are released into the atmosphere causing air related disease. I could recall a scenario that happened in my community whereby the use of diesel generator took the lives of an entire family; because of the release of these harmful gases that choked them all while they were asleep. This is why solar energy should replace the use of diesel generator. 
        Industries in my country who make use of large machineries in their production such as our breweries, printing press and local factories also contribute in polluting the air through the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere, which leads to the depletion of the ozone layers in the sky causing global warming. If these industries can use an efficient chemical net at the top of their chimneys and vents, this will help in displacing the chemical present in the gas released into the atmosphere turning it into oxygen and it will help in reducing the rate at which soot goes into the atmosphere(ozone layer) preventing air pollution and air related disease.
        In Nigeria, our dumpsites are major examples of waste pollution which will also lead to air pollution because when biodegradable materials rotten, they smell due to their degradable nature and the microorganisms that act on it. A lot of dumpsites are located in the areas where people inhabit which leave us with bad health conditions, sickening smell and poor environmental hygiene. In our society today, people think the best way to dispose our refuse is by burning, but it is not because when these biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials get burnt, some harmful gases are released into the environment causing air pollutions which in return endanger our lives. With this kind of problem, recycling should be the best solution because while I was in school, I was taught that these biodegradable materials can also be recycled to get biogas and manure which I have put into practice. While I was about to plant, I gathered some biodegradable materials like food waste, rotten vegetables and animal waste, mixed it together and then apply to the soil for planting. I noticed that within a month what I planted happen to grow very fast, so I believe that with this act our air will be fresh again, we’ll be encouraging recycling, personal hygiene and preserving our lovely lives.
        The mixture of petrol with diesel for vehicles is commonly practiced in my country and has led to the release of dangerous gases like methane and carbon monoxide etc. into our atmosphere through the exhaust pipe but this can be stopped if diesel is not added to petrol for vehicles. While I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was favored by god to travel to Seoul in south Korea, she told me how public transport were commonly used by citizens to move from one place to another, she also told me about the usefulness of green transportation and how bicycle kept around their community were used by individuals to move from one place to another. She said that these act has reduced the population of vehicles on the road and it has also reduced the rate at which harmful gases are released into the atmosphere. With what she said if these act is practiced in my country and the world at large, air pollution will be reduced and the rate at which people die of lung cancer, heart disease and lung dysfunction will also reduce.
        Looking at the problem of air pollution, my friends and I began a project of planting of flowers in our school compound and environment, because we were taught that during photosynthesis these harmful gases like Carbon IV Oxide and Carbon monoxide released into the atmosphere are taken in by the plants and in return release Oxygen as their waste. This means that the planting of trees should be encouraged in our community and country at large in order to make the air we breathe in fresh and clean again. Planting of trees will also reduce the rate of air pollution in our country, making it a better place and creating an eco-friendly world.
        Even though air pollution is a universal problem, under developing countries are more vulnerable to this disaster. Our government will play a major role in driving environmental changes as I act in my    self-interest with regards for others and the future generation. We must work to preserve the rich diversity of life if our generation and future generation are to live a healthy eco-friendly life.

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