By Nusaiba Abdul’aziz Muhammad
Kano State Environmental Mobile Court has sanctioned and imprisoned no fewer than 30 environmental offenders who violated the environmental laws and regulations in the state.
The State Commissioner of Environment, Dr. Kabiru Getso who made this known while speaking with reporters in the state said the court ordered that the persons serve various terms of imprisonment with option of fine for violating the environmental laws and regulations.
Getso said the offences committed by the persons include building on waterways, Indiscriminate dumping of waste and building materials in the drainages which are the leading factors contributing to flooding in some part of the State.
Other offences, he said, include restaurants operating without the standard requirements, hotels without habitation permits and some companies found wanting for emitting pollution injurious to the health of the people among other offences.
According to the Commissioner, “we got judgement delivered by one of the 12 mobile courts attached to the Ministry.
“More than 30 environmental violations were sanctioned. Their offences range from building on waterways, Indiscriminate dumping of waste and building materials in the drainages which are the leading factors contributing to flooding in some parts of the State.
“Similarly, some hotel and restaurant operators who operate without obtaining certificate of habitation from the ministry for hoteliers which they must apply for and await officials from the State Ministry of Environment to visit the location to ensure they have put in place every necessary environmental friendly measures and ensure its not situated in a hazardous area where the health of persons patronizing them would be endangered.
“Others include companies emitting excessive and poisonous smokes and pollution injurious to the health of the people among other offences.
“Punishment melted on them varies. Some were imprisoned for three months with option of fine while some got one month imprisonment with option of fine, it varies.
“These are efforts done to safeguard the health of the people and ensure they have a conducive environment,” Dr. Getso said.
The Commissioner further hinted that a pollution control law is underway in the state to deal decisively with defaulters.
“The Ministry has drafted a State Pollution Control Bill which his Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has approved and currently passed first reading in the state assembly floor.
“The Bill when passed into law will help put an end to issues of environmental offences as it contains stiffer punishment for defaulters. The law has a penalty for any form of crime against our environment.
“We must do everything to protect it because failure to do so exposes us to all forms of natural disasters,” Dr. Getso, however, stated.