AN ECO-THEOLOGICAL APPRAISAL OF TOXIC SMOG, TOXIC WASTE AND OTHER POLLUTANTS WITH CATASTROPHIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS IN THE NIGER-DELTA REGION OF NIGERIA

Princess Omovrigho Idialu

Abstract


In  the  Niger-Delta  region  of  Nigeria,  like  some  other  geographical  areas,  modern technology  has  brought  several  challenges  which  also  inhibit  the  process  of  growth  and development  of  mankind,  leading  to  global  warming.  Anthropogenic  release  of  green house   gases   and   chemical   pollutants   like   carbon-monoxide   and   other   combustible elements, disposal of lubricating oils from machines into rivers, crude oil exploration and pipe-line  vandalism  all  lead  to  environmental  degradation  and  contribute  to  global warming.  These  pollution-intractable  problems  affect  communities  and  have  serious health,  economic,  and  social  implications.  Reasons  adduced  for  allowing  multi-national companies  to  continue  degrading  the  environment  are:  that  if  there  are  civil  rights protection at all they are dead letters;  again, people do not think that members of a poor community  will  fight  back  or  that  anyone  would  listen  and  there  seem  to  be  a  kind  of collaboration between government and the extracting companies that makes it possible for the plundering of the land. The church needs to sensitise people that they haveobligation not just to one another but to the land. Thus, emphasizing the intricate interdependence of soil, water, flora and fauna, in which humans also belong and that God commands that we protect nature. The church should devise strategies to ensure that the mentality of our leaders  change  so  that  they  can  state  and  implement  strict  penalties  for  toxic  dumpers and ensure that oil companies operate in ways in which care for the environment and the people  are  given  due  priority.  When  the  church  works  withthe  community  and  the government,  there  may  better  prospects  of  ending  this  self  destructive  perpetration  of greedy exploitation and pollution of the environment.

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