ENJ Volume 1, 2022 (December)

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Article No. 1

Climate change, SARS-COV-2 pandemic, Wastewater, what are the implications and the risks? A systematic Review


Today, more than 304 million people globally in over 210 countries have been confirmed to have been infected and more than 5.4 million people have died of COVID-19. In this paper we provide a systematic review of the recent literature on the effects of climate on COVID-19’s global expansion, also rapid review to map research evidence on the utilization of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance and risks assessments. The results of the statistical and modeling techniques considered in the listed papers have been included in this review. The results of several studies, considering climate change and/or the seasonality of respiratory tract viruses, reported that both humidity and temperature affect the pattern of the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is a lack of consensus in the conclusions about the roles of temperature, humidity and other meteorological factors on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. Furthermore, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated in faeces and, in some cases, urine of infected people, as well as in wastewater and in sewage sludge. The possibility of faecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 resulting from these findings, has many implications, especially in regions with poor sanitation infrastructure, considering entering of SARS-CoV-2 into the sewage and wastewater treatment plants. This review takes stock 55 listed articles between December 2019 and January 2022. This paper would be useful as one of the tools for early health warning and to prioritize emergency response plans for water and sanitation operators during COVID-19 and future pandemics. Further research is needed on the assessment of health risks for communities near sewage treatment plants or for communities that simply do not have a wastewater collection system.

Article No. 2

Assessing the Effectiveness of National Policy on Public Forest Protection in Uganda: A Case of Too Little Too Late


Sustainably managed public forests are a cherished natural endowment, which contributes to national economic development and upgraded standards of living. With a multitude of benefits, the tragedy of endowment also comes the responsibility to regulate public forests by implementing and executing policies to control rights of access and to protect such forests. Henceforth the key objective of Uganda’s forests policy is to conserve and promote a balanced and diversified ecosystem, while continuously safeguarding various environmental, social and economic benefits for the present and future generations. To achieve this, the realpolitik of public forest management requires sound policy implementation and enforcement to curb the multi-layered challenges in the overall regulation process. Key policy issues and measures were identified. However, their feasibility in the institutional context is imperative. In responding to this, the study reviewed the Ugandan national forestry policy. Emerging results illuminated a mis-match between policy pronouncements and what actually happens on the ground. These included bias, corruption and interference in the regulation process. Hence, questioning the effectiveness of this forest policy is thought provoking. This diagnostic review concludes that there is a wide gap between key policy objectives and the current state of management and protection of public forest in Uganda. Policies should narrow the intraparency by taking proactive steps to implement the policy measures to address policy issues in the management of public forests in Uganda.

Article No. 3

A Review on the Role of Natural Gas in Nigeria’s Energy Transition


Nigeria’s economic development relies to a greater extent on its power generation, with the country being heavily reliant on its oil resources over the years. With energy transition underway, meeting the twin goal of ensuring universal access and transitioning to clean sources of energy puts the country at an edge. Natural gas is currently sought due to its ‘attributed transitional status’. While prices following basic economic theories play a role in influencing energy mix, other factors such as energy access, technology change, environmental implications and political factors impact energy production and supply, consequently the dynamics of its power sector.

This study is descriptive and analytical, making use of qualitative and quantitative approaches for data collection and analysis on the dynamics of prices of natural gas and renewable energy, energy access, gas production, natural gas technology, environmental and political opportunities, and challenges as some of the key factors in influencing Nigeria’s transition. Natural gas with its wide abundance in Nigeria provides a bridge to meeting energy demand and has relatively lower emissions, with accruing economic benefits. Nigeria has emphasized the role of natural gas in its energy transition road map and investments and policies have currently been put in place. Clearly, Natural gas is playing and will continue to play a huge part in Nigeria’s energy transition. With a good balance of investments, in clean energy sources, good policies and regulations on the exploitation and use of natural gas, Nigeria’s environment commitments and economic goals can both be achieved, leading to a just transition.

Article No. 4

Nexus of Environmental Education and Public Health Surveillance of Re-emerging Diseases and Covid 19 using Artificial Intelligence


The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has made the adoption of change in human behaviour and attitudes, the "new normal", which calls for the integration and relevance of environmental education in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic on surveillance and sensitization. This viewpoint article discusses how artificial intelligence and environmental education could be mainstreamed in surveillance of COVID-19 and other re-emerging diseases. The current viewpoint fills this gap by presenting a critical analysis of several studies on the nexus between COVID-19 and environmental education. The aim of the review is to understand the links between environmental exposures and COVID-19 along with the association with environmental education. The author proposes an assessment tool which could be used in public health surveillance of COVID-19 and other re-emerging diseases, so as to compute their cumulative impact on people’s health and determine efficient prevention and control counter-measures. In this regard a systematic review was undertaken to synthesize the evidence that environmental education and artificial intelligence should be used in the surveillance of COVID-19 and other re-emerging diseases such as Ebola and Monkey Pox. To conduct this review, Google Scholar, Pubmed and Research Gate were utilised between January and August 2022. Only peer reviewed, English language studies on Environmental education, Artificial Intelligence, Surveillance on Covid-19 and other remerging diseases were selected for the review.

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