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ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION AWARENESS OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
Environment of man is so crucial to his living conditions and defines how man organizes his activities and how he is influenced by what are around him. Man cannot do without his environment. Man’s relationship with his environment is a long aged symbiotic relationship. Man gives to the environment what he is able to waste in his activities as environment gives man the affordable and favourable conditions to carry out his activities. Man cannot do without wastes which may be from both man’s domestic, commercial and industrial activities which have taken various forms and are deposited at various places. Improper dispositions of these wastes to the environment have led to its pollutions. Pollution of the environment has come to be a problem facing man.
This research work sought to find the level of awareness of or literacy of environmental pollution by Junior Secondary School Students in Enugu South L.G.A, Enugu State. Research questions were raised and questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the students. The information so obtained were subject to analysis using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results of the statistical analysis showed that these students are sufficiently aware of what constitutes environmental pollution and even their hazardous effects. Such encouraging results suggest that, as a subject in secondary school should be done. Topics for further research and recommendations were also made.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Man cannot exist without his environment. The essence of his existence is to the extent of the availability and dependency of his environment. Based on this, in recent times every effort its made to alleviate the poor environmental conditions of man as to protect man (Schandorf, et al, 2003). Man is engulfed in his environment that he cannot do without environment. According to Chambers 21st Century Dictionary environment is defined as the surroundings or conditions within which something or someone exists. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary on its own part defines environment as the conditions that affect the behaviour and development of somebody or something, the physical conditions that somebody or something exists. Environment can refer to cultural and socio-economic environment. In the context of this research, it is more of physical environment which according to Uchegbu (2002) is a kind of system within which organisms interact with the physical environment, comprising of air, water and land.
The dynamics of man’s existence in creativity purposes in life, his industrial revolution involvement, commercial networks, hi-tech global networking systems, and scientific researches to demystify the environment and subject it under man’s existential control have committed man in constant production of wastes – these wastes through pollution have degraded the environment that it calls for a great concern (Schandorf et al, 2003). As an act of man, Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines pollution as the adverse effect on the natural environment, including human, animal or plant life, of a harmful substance that does not occur naturally. In other words the introduction to the environment by man made things have adverse effect to man and environment (Arnold, 1974).
Enugu South Local Government Area is no exempt to activities that cause pollution of environment. Activities within and around the Local Government Area produce pollutants that pollute the environment. Students in the various secondary schools within the locality engage in some domestic, commercial and school curriculum activities that generate wastes that lead to pollution. However, the crux of the matter is, do the Junior Secondary School students in the concerned local government area aware of what causes environmental pollution? Are they aware of what are pollutants, classifications of pollutants, activities that can cause pollution of the environment, indeed the dangers of environmental degradation through pollution, or in a nutshell what is pollution of the environment and its hazardous effects on man and his environment? The trial on these highlights will bring to a focus the fact to acknowledge how many and how far do the junior students of the school in Enugu South LGA are aware of what is environmental pollution and what will be the likely steps to be taken for them to be conscious of the environmental pollution.
Earth environment in its various forms or spheres on land, marine and air have throughout the existence of earth been of greater values to the actual existence of the earth, living and non-living objects in it. There has been much co-existence of the three spheres of earth’s environment, which has enhanced the growth and development of stable ecological phenomenon of the earth (Schandorf et al, 2003).
The sustenance of the earth’s environment both to man and other living objects on earth must be a phenomena of co-existence in a symbiotic relationship, which if not sustained may lead to degradation and hazardous effect. In exploring the earth environment utilising its resources for man’s scientific discoveries, technology improvement, industrial development, man has not only distorted the ecological system of the earth environment but also has been able to pollute the earth’s environment. Thus, environmental problems become so obvious with man, around man and for man; so turns to be natural problem even in Nigeria (Ofomata, 2003).
Pollution on air has been able to distort recent times the ozone layer, which has created direct effect of sunrays on earth and changes in the atmospheric conditions of the earth’s planet, through other means like the automobiles as experienced in Thailand, Mexico, China, United States of American and Europe (De Souza, 1999). Pollution of the aquatic regions of the earth has distorted the ecological system of the marine sphere of the earth’s environment. Oil spillages, domestic, industrial and commercial wastes that find their ways into the aquatic region have not only killed the aquatic forages but also have distorted the ecological system of the marine environment. Equally, mining activities in some communities and textile industries have their wastes channelled down the stream such contaminate the water (Schandorf et al, 2003). Land pollution is not left out. The greater improvement in home domestic uses of chemical reagents, plastics, rubber, battery components in our domestic electronic gazettes, also chemical application in our agricultural farming systems have resulted in production of chemically polluted land environment and both surface and under surface water resources around man.
Meanwhile, all these environmental polluted wastes are around man and causing both health and environmental hazardous consequences to man and the climatic condition of the earth planet; hence, everywhere environment experiences pollution and its consequences, whereby that affected victims may not be considered or turned to be passive compensated by the concerned authority just for a while (Adinna, 2003).
Oftentimes man has not done much to tackle the menace of this environmental pollution (Adinna, 2003). Hence, not having proper solution to its management has led to its continuous hazardous effects on man and the environment itself. So it calls for proper orientation of the concerned authorities to build up strategies to guide against environmental degradation.
Fundamentally to the solution is the proper environmental management orientation of the students in our secondary school among other solutions. Here in Enugu, environmental pollution is everyday natural phenomenon and its improper management and consequent effects are observable facts around people that live in this metropolis. Even students are often times involved in causing pollution and generation of environmental pollutants. Besides, students in secondary schools at Enugu South Local Government Area are not exempts to this phenomenon.
Therefore, the urgent and intensified efforts to teach them, create an awareness strategies for them to realise the global effects of pollution and what pollution is all about will help bring down to its minimal level the pollution effect of the environment within and around the area of study. Or if need be for any legal regulations, the students will be aware of them and implications of hat and their importance (Ofomata, 2003).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Human wastes find their ways if improperly disposed in various surface and underground waters resources in our metropolis. According to Uyanga (2003), all wastes affect man and his environment in one form or the other if not properly managed. Human industrial development in our metropolis also finds their wastes in our surface and underground waters. Even our commercial activities in our various market areas generate wastes both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials, which are seen, scattered in various shopping areas and market places (Uyanga, 2003). Also in various market abattoirs animal faeces or wastes are washed in our surface waters. Also our clinical wastes from our health centres and hospitals are seen flushed down the streams and underground waters. In various undeveloped site, people use such areas for defecation and wastes disposition areas. Also various street hawkers help to deposit and generate wastes within and around the metropolis. All these form both in remotely and proximately pollutants and pollution process that degrade the environment.
Refuse disposal in Enugu metropolis has indeed defiled possible solution, because of inconsistent and superficial managerial approach towards solving it. Consequently, citizens of the area devise disposing their generated wastes inside the streams or underground waters, which are available sources for both domestic and some industrial activities. Based on this, the Enugu South Local Government Area and its environs have experience a lot of environmental health hazards and outbreak of diseases in recent past serious diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery and malaria are in the increase as are also the stressed views of Ofomata pinpointing the hazardous consequences of such action (Ofomata, 2003).
In rainy season, when it rains the easy flowing water drainage are blocked by deposited wastes in them because of improper wastes management in the area of study. Thus, effects of erosions are experience in the over flooding of the area with human wastes that have led to some hazardous health effect and degradation of the environment and aesthetic value of the area of study.
In dry season, the area of our study not only experience pollution of its environment by dirt and human generated wastes, with stinking odour which causes the water to be unsafe and unpleasant environment for human activities. Even some deposited chemical and industrial non-biogradable waste materials are washed into the surrounding surface and underground waters in the area as properly articulated by Dorayi (1982) as causes of environmental unhealthy conditions.
Our secondary school environments are not left out from human generated wastes and pollution by students which has not only degraded the environment but worse still distort the aesthetic value of our environment even often leading to hazardous health effects.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This research project aims at verifying the extent of awareness of environmental pollution among students of Junior Secondary School in Enugu South Local Government Area. In order to achieve this purpose, these following specific objectives are addressed. They include:
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this project, which focus on, the environmental pollution awareness will be of great importance not only to the researcher, but also to entire concerned students and school of the Enugu South Local Government Area, its environs and Enugu State in general.
Again, it will go a long way in revealing the needed information to address the problem of environmental pollution, which has been a sensitive issue within and around the study area due to its health and diversing environmental hazard. Hence, it will be a very sensitive information for the school authorities, the government and environmental management agencies as to have workable measures to identify various pollutants, sources of pollution, and how to minimize wastes generation and maximize wastes recycling techniques that could be of greater help to concerned schools, local government and state authorities and the populace in controlling wastes disposal and embark on waste recycling techniques. In order to assist identify these sources of human activities in urban environment Riggs (1968) was able to identify four aspects of urban pollutions which include:
Also, the findings from this research project will be of educational value to the entire students of the studied local government area to be aware of the need to identify environmental pollution processes, how environmental pollution is generated and its hazardous effect on human beings and the environment.
Furthermore, with deep research on environment and man and various techniques of environmental management the findings will create environmental consciousness on the students to develop a grass root personal hygiene, environmental cleanness and how to reduce environmental pollution activities and maximize the recycling of the various generated environmental wastes.
Recommendation of this project will equally be an educative phenomenon, and reference agenda to the concerned authorities in future to help in stopping the environmental mismanagement tendencies among the youths and secondary school students. When they are led in the proper management of their environment it will help greatly in the global awareness campaign to create and live in a greener environment.
It will equally be proper grass root environmental management orientation awareness for young students to study and know their environment as to improve on its ecological sustenance. This is also the view of Adinna (2003) in stressing the valuable importance of highlighting the awareness of pollution as to encourage environmental education of the people.
Finally, the form of the data and research information that will be provided by this research will be of great importance to various environmental agencies and planners in the studied local government area and the state in general. This will guide them in the grass root campaign on environmental management control among the youths especially students who are future hope of maintaining a sustainable environment. Also it will help to be included in the school curriculum for students of junior secondary students and others to be part of their academic school programme. In so doing, issue of environmental pollution control will be self imposed duty on individual students, to everyone in general as assistance to help tackle similar problem affecting the environment as to have a proper environmental wastes management and global consciousness to safeguard the environment and sustain the global ecosystem for ourselves now and future generations to come (Oforji, 2007).
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In view to actualise a considerable success in carrying out this as to liken with the purposes of this study, these basic following research important questions have to be stated as a guide to the researcher. They include:
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research mainly focused on finding out from Junior Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local Government Area. As a local government area is made up of urban and semi-urban areas. Among the urban areas include Awkunanaw, Uwani (the local government headquarters), Idaw-River, Maryland, while the semi-urban areas include; Obeagu Awkunanaw, Ugwuaji, Ndiagu Amechi and Akwuke. The local government has much influence of urbanization because of its closeness to the Enugu metropolis, the capital of the state. So it is still a gradual developing local government area to its sub-urban areas.
Meanwhile each of these areas that make up the local government area has both government and private owned Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. However, because of the limitations of this research, it centred more on the government owned Junior Secondary Schools. This is well detailed in the data presentation
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