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Expert enlightens on dangers of bush burning

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Mr David Afolayan, an Environmentalist and Geographic Information Science (GIS) expert, has cautioned Nigerians on the dangers of lighting fire to burn bushes and refuse, especially during harmattan.

Afolayan, in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Ibadan on Friday said that to prevent fire outbreaks people must desist from burning bushes and refuse.

He noted that different categories of people engaged in this act for various reasons, including those who wanted to clear their farmlands, hunters in search of games and households burning their refuse.

Afolayan said the harmattan season presents an opportunity for fire to rage due to low humidity and high temperature which support combustion and then it spreads.

He said: “We have heard of the news of various fire outbreaks and one thing that is consistent is the lack of adequate preparation on the part of the government and its institutions meant to tackle the outbreaks.

“The emergency response team should be equipped and technology should be deployed to know where incident of such is likely to take place.

“There is technology like GIS software that can help map out and identify areas predisposed to fire incidence and then adequate measures can be taken to prevent it or combat it as the case may be,” he said.

He also said that environmental laws should be implemented to prevent fire outbreaks and other disasters.

He called for joint efforts to tackle environmental issues such as including the communities to identify their roles in protecting their environment and ultimately their lives through positive attitudes.

Afolayan enjoined people to be careful with household appliances and to ensure that they switched them off when not at home.

“We need to engage the professionals in the wiring of our houses and desist from using substandard products.

“Another thing that people do is to put heavy electrical load on a substandard wire. This may also cause fire to break out anytime.

“We must also ensure that uneducated or unqualified people are not used as electricians to wire houses; this will just be a time bomb waiting to explode if allowed.

“We should have such laws that will prevent quacks from handling professional duties,” he said.

The GIS expert further urged individuals to take up the responsibility of caring for the environment and people around them.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Donald Ugwu

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