From IghomuayeLucky, Benin

A Professor of Environmental Microbiology and Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Prof Kirk Semple, has said one of the major causes of death across the globe is pollution.

He made the assertion while speaking as a guest speaker on the topic “Bioavailability of pollutants in soil: Fundamentals to the application at the 2023 Oba Ogunwusi Adeyeye Ojaja II College of Natural Sciences Annual Lecture, Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO).

Prof Semple said pollution is a global phenomenon but high in third-world countries adding that it is driven by urbanisation.

He explained that pollution contaminates the soil which invariably has a negative impact on agricultural products.

The environmental Professor, while profiling solutions to the impact of pollution, recommended continuous sensitization of the public and adopting environmental best practices as some of the sure ways of mitigating them since they cannot be totally eradicated.

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On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye, said it is his hope that the outcome of the lecture stimulates further interrogation and provides the impetus for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal No. 15 which is geared towards making life more comfortable on land.

He added that this has become necessary if we are to reduce the loss of natural habitats and biodiversity which are part of our common heritage and support global food and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, with ultimate impact on peace and security.

Prof. Ezemonye who said the event coincided with World Environment Day, said if we do not protect our environment, we might end up destroying ourselves.

He further decried how waste, especially plastics is managed in the country and called for a holistic approach to solving the problem.

Earlier, the Dean, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Prof Longi Anyanwu, described the lecture as apt, urging the students to make the best use of the outcome of the lecture.