Poor waste management
Image source: Nigerian Finder

Let’s bring it home for a second. Let’s talk about major environmental problems in Nigeria.

Even though Nigeria is party and signatory to lots of international agreements, treaties and conventions like the Paris Agreement, Montreal Protocol, and also has lots of environmental organizations and bodies like NESREA, the environment is one part that has been neglected.

The whole “environment thing” isn’t in us. By “us” I mean Nigerians. We don’t know what the environment is and how important it is to take care of the environment. We don’t understand that we are the environment and whatever we do to the environment we do to ourselves. We don’t see the need to care at all.

Because of this, we do things without having the environment in our minds and this has led to a lot of environmental problems, some of which we don’t even know we’re facing. Let’s go through 7 major environmental problems in Nigeria.


Climate change is on every country’s list. The thing with climate change in Nigeria is that we don’t even know we’re facing it. There’re lots of climate change deniers here. We’ve seen the changes in our weather patterns overtime and we don’t even know it’s our climate that is changing. We see it as it’s just some random stuff.

Flooding due to extreme weather events
Image source: Sun News Online

I mean, there’s flooding here and there from heavy rainfall. Sea levels are rising. We experience some really serious heat and drought during the dry season. Wake up people! The climate crisis is already happening everywhere and there’s more coming our way if we don’t act NOW!


Waste management is one of the major environmental problems in Nigeria. We have made it a point of duty to dump whatever waste or trash we have into anything that isn’t a bin or trash can. We have turned the ground and gutters to our bin. We throw things around here and there.

People be throwing their coke bottles, biscuit and sweet wraps or whatever trash they have from their car windows unprovoked. O wrong nau! O wrong!
You may say “but it’s just one small sweet wrap.” No dear, it isn’t small. If 2,000 people are saying this, multiply “one small sweet wrap” by 2,000 people that’s 2,000 sweet wraps. 2,000 sweet wraps aren’t in the bin! They’re on the streets and in gutters. You see where I’m going with this?

Road covered with waste
Image source: Public Health Nigeria

Sometimes these waste end up blocking our gutters. When there’s rain the whole place is a mess and we go around looking for who to blame forgetting we did that with our chests. We’re keeping our environment dirty and this exposes us to lots of health issues.

Proper waste management just isn’t in us and this shouldn’t be so. We should do better. Hold on to your trash till you find a bin. And no dear, it isn’t embarrassing. It’s just you being environmentally conscious and doing the right thing.


Water pollution is linked to our poor waste management. When it rains people see it as an opportunity to dump their waste into the gutter talmbout “the water will carry it.” Carry it to where please?
I mean, where do you think it’s going? Everything is washed into our water bodies. Do we realize we end up drinking these things?

On another side there’s oil spill especially in the Niger Delta region, fertilizers and pesticides from our agricultural activities, mining, seepage from dump sites and many more. All these has led to the increasing concentration of toxic chemicals and heavy metals in our water. We’re giving ourselves free tickets to all sorta diseases.

We all know how important water is. We need to protect our water sources so we can have access to good and clean water. It’s one thing for water to be available and it’s another thing for the available water to be clean.


Plastic pollution is still part of the major environmental problems in Nigeria. This problem is also at the top of every country’s list. The thing with plastic is that it takes a long time to decompose and this is also contributing to our poor waste management issue.

Plastic waste problem is one of the major environmental problems in Nigeria.
Image source: The Guardian Nigeria

While other countries are banning plastics and taking a stand to beat plastic pollution, we are not even bothered. We still have a long way to go. We need to beat the current plastic problem else we’ll be drowning in plastic. I mean, we’re already eating micro plastics in our food. Use more reusables, bring your own bag and drop the plastic.


We don’t really know and understand how important trees are so all we do is cut cut cut without replacing them. Land is cleared to build, for raw materials and to make way for one thing or the other.

People hardly plant trees here and it’s really bad. The green is no more and it feels like this has lowkey been normalized. I mean, you can go through an entire estate and won’t see a single tree, only buildings upon buildings upon buildings. This shouldn’t be the new normal.

At this rate, we have lost more than 70% of our primary forests. We need to do more to protect and preserve our forests. We need to plant trees and have more reforestation projects because we need trees. You can start. Go plant a tree in your home, yard, community or whatever have you. Go green!


From transportation to industries to agriculture, we be burning fossil fuel like it’s no man’s business. We’re releasing lots of toxic gases into the atmosphere in large concentrations. This has affected our air quality and is also contributing to the current climate crisis.

Do you know what would have helped cleaned our atmosphere? Trees!
It’s no news that trees take in carbon dioxide (a primary greenhouse gas) and release oxygen. But since all we’ve been doing from day one is to cut without replacing, we have no medium to remove these gases from the atmosphere.

You see why we need trees?

With this happening, we’re faced with lots of respiratory issues and more climate change problems. We should drop the fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources. We can also reduce our emissions by cutting down our carbon footprint.


With all the deforestation and pollution here are there, we have lost more than 60% of our biodiversity.
The forest is home for millions of species and as we’re cutting down trees without replacing, these species are left without a home. The aquatic habitat is no longer safe for the aquatic species because of how we’ve polluted water with our wastes, oil and other toxic chemicals.
The variety of life forms is currently being threatened. Some of the species are already endangered and are important for the functioning of our ecosystems. We need to do better. Our biodiversity should be preserved.

Truth is, our eyes aren’t opened. Only a few people are really into this environment thing and have been making steady moves. But with the Nigerian attitude towards the environment, it’s really difficult for them. We all need to step up and be a part of the movement.

We need to work together to preserve what is left and take back what we’ve lost. Think about the environment in whatever you do. Take care of your environment and watch it take care of you.

Don’t forget, whatever you do to the environment you do to yourself.

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  1. This post just keeps it real! I visited Ghana several years ago and I was astonished at the plastic waste. There must be something that our home countries can do. However education on reduced plastic use is a start. Well done!

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