Human activities have been identified as factors affecting the quality of rain water.
A lecturer in the department of Geography, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, Dr. Madube Tumba Kwabe gave the indication while speaking to Radio Nigeria on the contamination of rain water experienced in some parts of the country.
Rain water is an alternative source of water.
In the face of increasing water scarcity worsened by climate change, the collection of rainwater increases water supply for different purposes.
However, human activities have led to the release of pollutants into the atmosphere, making rain water unsafe for consumption.
According to Dr. Madube Tumba Kwabe of Modibbo Adama University, Yola, burning of fossil fuels, manufacturing, transportation, agricultural practices, electricity generation among others, are factors responsible for the release of pollutants into the atmosphere, causing climate change and consequent contamination of rainwater.
“Human activities are responsible for the unfriendly situation of the atmosphere. As a result of that, we no longer have good rainfall,” he said.
“Most of the rain we have now is referred to as Acid Rain. This is because the pollutants like the nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, Chlorocarbon and others that go up to the atmosphere will be observed there in the atmosphere, and by the time it rains, the rain will come down with such chemicals, which is referred to as Acid”, he added.
Dr. Tumba lamented the impact of climate change on plants and animals, which results in flood, drought, spread of airborne diseases and global warming.
He called for deliberate steps such as tree planting, promotion of renewable energy, recycling and government policy to reduce emission of Green House Gases so as to mitigate the impact of climate change.
According to Dr. Tumba, “Even though the policies are there, the enforcement is weak. Government should be strict on enforcement of policies that will mitigate climate change.”
Some residents of Yola also spoke on the recent rain pollution experienced in the state.
Mukhtar Shelleng said, “I collected water from the rain and it was not pure, it contained dirts.”
According to Mrs. Janet Anyanwu, “The water was not clean, but I used it like that.”
“With environmental pollution, we have problems with the atmosphere and things are not normal anymore”, said Mubarak Inuwa.
Boniface Yunusa noted, “Changes in the atmosphere is responsible. These changes might be as a result of global warming.”
A medical practitioner, Dr. Emmanuel Daniel said rain water if not treated, is unsafe for consumption, adding that it can lead to mild to life-threatening sicknesses.
“It is not safe to drink rain water. One can come down with viral infection, bacterial infection, metallic poisoning leading to hospital admission, and in worst case, it may lead to death”, said the health expert.
Dr. Emmanuel pointed out that even though rain water may appear clean, it is important to purify such water before drinking to avoid illnesses.
Rainwater pollution can have significant impacts on the environment as well as on human health.
Mitigating climate change will improve the quality of rainwater and protect the environment from degradation.