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Op-Ed

Need to conserve environment

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By EMN Updated: Apr 14, 2014 9:42 pm
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[dropcap]E[/dropcap]nvironmental problem in Nagaland has been getting worse. Seriously observing the current environmental problem with it posed a danger to the society; it is viewed that the intellectuals Nagas should endeavour to work on reducing the environmental impact and ensure environmental conservation thus shielding human wellbeing as part of our collective involvement. It is strongly felt that the community should be encouraged to consciously work for continued improvement of environment.
As far as curbing environmental problem is concerned deforestation and burning of forests should be totally prohibited. It is distinguished that global warming is being cause mainly due to emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When deforestation occurs, many of the trees are scorched or they are allowed to rot, which results in releasing the carbon that is accumulated in them as carbon dioxide. These are just a few of the causes and effects of deforestation. The consequences are very distasteful as every form of life on earth is interlinked with one another. Not only do animals lose their homes, but humans reliant on the local ecology are also affected. People dependent on the forests for their survival lose their livelihood. It is also to be mentioned that due to massive felling down of trees, various species of animals are lost. They lose their habitat and forced to move to new location. Some of them are even pushed to extinction.The deleterious effects of prescribed fire on wildlife can include destruction of nesting sites and possible killing of birds, reptiles, or mammals trapped in the fire. We as a rational being should bear in mind that how fire affects vegetation, wildlife, soil, water, and air. Hence, strict monitoring of tree cutting/burning forest should be carried out by various government and other non-profit agencies. Reforestation of lost areas and following sustainable practices will help us balance our green cover. We should bear in mind that the trees offer us life; devoid of them it will be impractical to sustain life. Hence, it is a duty of every responsible person to plant more trees and conserve forest because plants are the fundamental nature of human life. “Cut one plant two to replace the one we have cut” should be implemented by the government, by doing so then; we can stop deforestation in our State.
Mention may be made that the major environmental problems in Nagaland particularly in the urban areas are waste-water from road-ways, workshops, discharges of auto garages, slaughter houses, air pollution problems, pollutions of rivers etc. It has been observed that there is no guideline on waste managing and as a consequence there is haphazard discarding of wastes in the vicinity of human inhabited areas which is health vulnerability. There is an incessant throwing of garbage on the roadside in almost all the areas in the town. Street corners are stack with rubbish. Public places and sidewalks are despoiled with filth and litter, rivers and canals act as garbage dumps. To curb this menace, a wide-ranging waste-management program should be put into operation that would incorporate household collection of segregated waste, recycling and composting. There is no denying the fact that the town waste remains simply uncollected. It is seriously viewed that dumping, disposing, burning or littering of the garbage on public places and in the town shall be strictly restricted. Dumpster should not be positioned in or on a public right-of-way. Garbage and other waste must be completely contained within the dumpster. The appropriate authority is highly expected to collect garbage in every area at least once in a week. Drainage should be constructed in particular areas and quarters of the city. Thus, the need of the hour is to encourage appropriate regulations that specify collection, transportation and disposal of wastes in the far-flung areas.
It is also noteworthy to state that there are no proper toilet facilities in the town. The toilets available for use are mostly jammed or dirty and not usable which infringes on the rights to human dignity. People visiting the town have nowhere to relieve themselves due to absence of toilet facilities. They either have to entreat to use the private toilets of persons living in close proximity or crouch in the open space across the street. This situation is particularly awkward for female who are less able to urinate freely in public like their male counterparts. In addition to being a severe nuisance, this lack of toilet facilities also constitutes a severe health vulnerability to public. Proper toilets are not available to people- especially those who deal with food items. Individuals running rice hotels should maintain proper toilet at all times as the current condition is not acceptable. The lack of public toilet facilities is a setback across the town, resulting in mass desecrating of our common spaces with faeces and urine from desperate individuals in various areas of the town. Supply of clean water and proper toilet facilities in every government run hospital should made obligatory. Many locals are repulsed by the disgusting odour in the streets, bus stations, auto parking, hospitals, etc. in the towns. Therefore, it is high time that the government construct toilets in various area of the town and ensure proper maintenance to realize the needs and aspiration of the populace.
Slaughter houses operating in almost every quarters of the town should be monitored. It is quite advisable that limiting the number of butcher shops will help in reducing the volume of the waste products dumped into the town’s environment. Butchers and meat sellers should be taught to practice their trade in a manner that would not be detrimental to the health of the city’s inhabitants and which would leave the city’s roads and waterways free of animal by-products. It is also advisable that butcher shops should be placed in specific areas and quarters of the city unlike the present practice of opening slaughter houses in every knock and corner of the town.
As far as protection of wild life is concerned, hunting and trapping of birds and animals especially during breeding season should be restricted. Wild animals and birds are not only the wealth of the nation but also an essential part of nature, hence, pro­tection and preservation of wild life is indispensable. Mention may be made that many of us take gratification in the beauty and presence of wild life, but all may not comprehend that it is so precious. Sad to say that many endangered species of birds and animals have been killed and sold in the market despite ban imposed on them. Hence, every sensible person should voice out concern and be committed/endeavour to work on protection of wild life.
Relentless use of chemical and bomb in the river should be utterly banned. It is quite obvious that using of such chemical not only exterminates all the living creatures in the affected area but also contaminate the water which is health hazard. There is no denying the fact that environmental problem in Nagaland has been getting worse. Hence, we should work more effectively and to be able to work on environmental issues and promoter of our common interest to have a better environment.
We should fight for reform because we accept as true that the devastation of forests, productive soil, wild life and water resources would be the downfall of our society. The need of the hour is to work for effective environmental monitoring; promoting environmental education, organize workshops, seminars and discussions, training on environmental issues, etc.
In a nutshell, there is an imperative need for an effective environment management system. Hence, mass-based participation for effective environmental management should be encouraged. Public awareness on environmental issues is lacking. Thus, the need of the hour is also to create awareness on current environment issues and solutions as much as possible.

SEMTO L SUMI
Director
Save Environment Network
Dimapur: Nagaland

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By EMN Updated: Apr 14, 2014 9:42:36 pm