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Monday, October 29, 2018

Food,health and environmentalsecurity


Food security The situation brought about by the introduction of exclusively crude oil economy in Nigeria in the 1970s has put the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy into comatose. Nigeria which used to be one of the major food baskets and exporter of agricultural products in the world has become a perpetual importer of food items, meaning that, adequately feeding the masses is becoming a difficult task. There is no doubt that the agricultural sector has however become moribund. More than 70% of urban dwellers go about on empty stomachs. Hunger has continued to make people become more vulnerable by the day. This situation has been one of the major contributing factors to the increasing crime rate in the country especially the urban centres. In order to make food available abundantly to the people, government needs to adopt strategic and policy actions that can engender food security in the country. Then, what is food security? Food security can be described as:
...the reliable availability of a sufficient quantity and quality of nutritious food for a population (.personal.umich.edu/~alandear/glossary/f.html).
.. the availability of food - in other words whether it is physically available and if so at what price. The term is sometimes confused with that of food safety which refers to the
extent to which food is safe to eat (
...having access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life (http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/glossary/index _en .htmm).
.pbs.org/ wgbh/rxforsurvival/glossary.html. Bearing in mind the foregoing definitions of food security, you may agree with me that availability of food is very germane to the maintenance of law and order in any society. It is therefore important for every society or country to initiate policies, which can create opportunities to providing the people with food in qualitative and quantitative terms. Although, food security underscores the strategic importance that self sustenance in food production has on the security of any nation. The interdependence that dominates relations among nations also includes food. This is because there are particular types of agricultural items that cannot be grown in one country but which can be found in another country. For the fact that food is not luxury but necessity, a secure society will always undertake activities that will enhance their capacity to produce food locally, and endeavour as much as it can, to avoid importing the food items it can produce locally. SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE How do you explain the meaning of food security? 3.5 Health Security This involves safety against pandemics and diseases. It is part of government responsibilities to provide health security for its citizens, knowing the impact that good health condition(s) can have on the development of any country. That is why in advanced countries, government provides platform to promote healthy living among the people. Health security is very crucial to national development, and that is the reason why countries like the United States have created opportunity for their people to access national health insurance scheme, where everybody will make contribution (premium) to the scheme. When people fall sick, there is insurance cover that will take care of their hospital bills according to their policy type(s). In addition, most governments usually have some strategic interventions to respond to health crisis and pandemics. One of such interventionist techniques is awareness programme educating people about the danger of the outbreak of some diseases particularly those that are infectious like HIV/AIDS, SARS, and tuberculosis, to mention a few. Enlightenment also helps to guide people against (reckless) lifestyles and ignorance, which can aid spread of disease(s) especially those with high contagion.
Also, in most states sanitation officers are appointed by government to ensure strict compliance of the people to environmental and sanitation laws. The reason is not only to ensure good sanitation behaviour but also to guarantee the health security of the
state. Another way of providing health security is by putting in place free health services for the people. Though, this kind of programme is very expensive, some governments still take up the responsibility of providing both qualitative and quantitative health services to the people at low cost. The purpose of doing this is to provide health security for the people. SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE Define health security. 3.6 Economic Security This can be described as a way of putting in place measures and strategies that will ensure that every individual in the state is not only entitled to employment but also has the right to a living wage. In advanced countries, government often puts in place social security for citizens who are out of job whereby stipends are provided for the citizens to keep body and soul together. But, it is quite unfortunate that in most developing countries, unemployed people are left to their own fate, such that nothing is provided by government to ameliorate the plights of unemployed citizens. The people who have jobs don’t have job security as several employees are cheated and underpaid by their employers. This situation has therefore been one of the major factors responsible for the increasing criminality and criminal activities among the people especially the youths. It is important to know that economic exploitation, which is an aspect of economic insecurity cuts across all spheres of our national life. It is one of the factors responsible for poor quality of personnel in Nigeria Police making it inept as a security institution in discharging its primary functions (see Alemika, 1997). SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE How do you define economic security? 3.7 Environment Security The concept of environment has begun to dominate international discourse. The issue of environmental pollution has continued to attract the attention of the individuals, Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs), nations as well as international organizations. It is imperative, that we consider the adverse effects of environmental hazards on the people, so that government and the people can ensure the security of their environment. Conceptually, environmental security can be described as:
....ability of a nation or a society to withstand environmental asset scarcity, environmental risks or adverse changes, or environment-related tensions or conflicts (://www.pacinst.org/reports/environment_and_security/env_security_and_climate_change.pdf).

.....the total surrounding or external conditions within which an organism or a community exists (Adeboyejo, 1994: 74). Within the world body (the United Nations), efforts are being made through the (relevant) agency – the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), to monitor environmental issues, and make reports and plans for such issues and to act and promote legal instruments on environment. If we want to talk about environmental security, our focus should be on the atmosphere, lithosphere hydrosphere and biosphere. People now talk about issues like damage in the ozone layer, climate change, water pollution and environmental degradation (to mention a few). Environment has great impact on the general well-being of the people, and that is the reason why increasing interest of state and non-state actors on environmental protection and security has become evident. The growing interest since 1980s on environmental security has also attracted a number of international agreements aimed at protecting the environment. SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE What is environmental security?

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