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Friday, March 6, 2009

Why it is Difficult to Measure Global Warming in Nigeria

President of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors(NIS), Dr Olusola Atilola has revealed why it is difficult to measure global warming in the country blaming it on the absence of a baseline to measure the effects.

In an intervirew with Daily Sun, he attributed this to the lack of mapping of the country.

According to him, if the country is mapped, the next time one could use the map to check effect the global warming is having in the country.

His words “Global warming is a phenomenon that has been on for a long time but we are just having the impact now. It is mainly caused by ozone depletion and when this happens, the temperature is increased which causes the warming. The consequence is on vegetation and on the environment. The role of surveyors in this is to ensure that the country is mapped regularly and monitor the changes from satellite imageries. From there we discover what the effects are of the global warming in Nigeria .You must have a baseline.

But as today, no body can tell us how global warming has affected Nigeria in real terms because there is no baseline. But if you have a base line that you have map the country then after two or three years you map the country again, you will see the effect probably from the encroachment of the ocean. It is on the base map that you can represent or record environmental changes and changes in terms of a forestation and so on.

“You cannot know the effect of global warming by mere looking at it. You have to continue to map the country to ensuring sustainable development. Development that takes care of the immediate without jeopardizing the future. Without knowing your environment, there is no way you can develop sustainably. We have a big role to play in global warming.”

He said that his institution is very much concerned about the development of the country, adding that the only impediment is that they are not being carrying along in the scheme of things,most especially during road construction.

According to him, in the other countries,surveying content in engineering is separated from construction projects but here in the country road contracts are given in turn key basis, thereby giving the contractor the freedom to use whoever he likes.

“My institution is concerned about the issue of the environment and development of this country. Development comes from the fact that you have to interact on road network. Our roads are bad and in the construction of roads, surveyors are not carried along. We are not empowered and enabled to make input in the development of the country. Construction of roads is a multi-disciplinary project that is many professionals come together. Surveyors have to come in first in the planning to map. During road construction surveyors come.

During maintenance we come in But the way things are any direct legal role in construction in the country. In the other countries of the world surveying content on engineering projects are separated and allowed to be executed by professionals .In the other countries you cannot just go and carry out survey for government or for legal use without involving the surveyor. The surveyor is legally empowered and allowed to determine the coordinator point of the country. Surveyors must be carried along and be allowed to carry out their profession properly .If we want good roads in this country, the professionals must be allowed to play their parts.”

On the agencies that embark on constitutency delimitations, he said “As I said before, some of this government parastatals have no right whatso ever to embark on delimitations of the country but because of the allurement of what they will get in awarding the contracts, they carry on certain acts that are not within their areas of jurisdiction.

Now the delimitation of constituency is supposed to be done in conjunction with the Office

of the Surveyor General like the local government, the delimitation of the local government ought to be done by the Office of the Surveyor General. The same thing with the delimitation of the state and if any thing is to be done at all. It must be done properly. The delimitation that they are going to do now they are going to use odometer and it will have over laps because they don’t know. There is advancement in technology now that will make surveyors to produce those maps within a very short period and when these maps are produce, it will not be used by only the agency but by the other sectors of the economy. So why can’t we do things properly.

Why are they interested in doing it haphazardly? These are the areas that we have been talking to government that government parastatals need not to waste scarce taxpayers money on things that don’t concern them. What do they know about survey for them to delineate.

How are they going to use it? How are they going to reference it?.If they are going to use odometer won’t they have overlapping whereas if it is done properly and made a national exercise under the office of the Survey General then you divide it and step it under the office of the surveyor general in the state, we will have a properly demarcated and delineated constancy that would make meaning, and would be transparent and not under the whims and caprices of those who don’t even know the terrain. I think that it is an exercise that would not yield good dividends”.

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