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Group Seeks Community Solutions To Environmental Challenges

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Health of Mother Earth
Foundation (HOMEF) a, Non-Governmental Organisation, has carried out community dialogues in two communities in Rivers State.
The communities are Erema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni,  Goi in Gokona Local Government Area.
The Director of HOMEF, Rev Nnimmo Bassey said the dialogues were aimed at raising awareness and seeking community driven solutions to existing environmental challenges.
Representatives from communities in Erema, Egi and Goi communities in Rivers, participated in the sessions tagged ‘Community Dialogues.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at Erema Community, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, noted that the dialogues were planned for community members to review environmental situations of their communities.
He said that HOMEF had concluded plans to take the community dialogues to other oil-producing communities across the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the interactions will also identify needed areas of action to preserve and defend the common heritage of the people of the region.
“Demands for stewardship in relation to how we relate to the gifts of nature are sometimes regarded as affront to political power wielders and corporate entities.
“These political power wielders lay claim to ownership of our lands, waters and the several gifts that nature has endowed us with.
“As we approach the rescheduled 2015 elections, the thing that matters most to us, our environment, has been pushed to the backseat by the political players.
“These political players are concerned with how to grab our votes without telling us what they would do with the very thing that supports our lives and livelihoods.
“The parties proclaim transformation and change. We have seen change. We are living in change.
Our waters have been changed into polluted and heavily toxic soups. Our air hangs heavy with noxious fumes”, he said.
“The truth is that we have got to the point where we can hardly breathe, “ Bassey said.
Also speaking, a labour activist and community leader in Erema, Mr Che Ibegwura, urged the people to improve their natural habitat which remained their source of life.
He expressed regret that the violent activities against the environment had continued unabated for decades.
The community leader said that this had resulted in poor yields from farm lands and declining quality of life in oil-bearing communities.
In his speech, Chief Odeyi, the Ochi Oha of Erema,  commended HOMEF for building the capacity of the people to protect its environmental assets.
He urged the people to apply the knowledge acquired from the sessions in ecological monitoring and defense for the well being of the community.

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Environment

CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change

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Some civil society organisations have expressed their willingness to partner with the government to address climate change and other environmental challenges in the new year.
Some of the organisations include, the Nigeria Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement at the SDG’s (NCSfPAS) GIFSED, Climate and Sustainable network as well as Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Gender and Environmental Initiatives (GERI).
The Tide source in Abuja reported the Executive Director of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem preservation, Mr. David Terugwa as saying that they were ready to partner government with view to addressing climate change and other environmental challenges.
For us, we are looking at those areas where we can come in and assist and to be partners with the government.
Project Lead, CSDeu Net, Mr. Pius Oko, said that the group will support the government and other stakeholders in the implementation of the law.
“We are here today to make a step forward. We want to first highlight the issues that concern the impact in climate change and have a tangible solution to such problems.
Executive-Director, WEP,Mrs Anne-Marie Abaogu said CSOs were set to develop a partnership that would implement framework to reverse the ugly trend of climate change in the country.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation

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The Onuayekein /Amanyanabo of Obonoma Community, King Enenibofori Dateme Obonogina, has charged the community to take the issue of sanitation seriously. Speaking at an interative session recently in the community, the Obonogina said all grasses and bushes must be cleared to expose the face of the community.
He said the situation will improve the hygienic and aesthetic conditions of the community. King Dateme said the community will expand the road recently commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enable it include more of its hinterland communities.
He said the expansion of the road will boost farming and fishing activities in the areas as well as enable more farmers and fishermen to evacuate their produce to the markets thereby boosting the economy of the area.
He said the community will liaise with Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a view to developing the areas. King Dateme also stressed the need for unity and love among the people. According to him, when there is love, there will be peace and development of the community.
Also speaking, Professor Anyamebo Okorosoye Orubite, urged the people to cultivate the spirit of self help instead of relying solely on government for the development of their communities.
He also said that arrangements were on to build a Kalabari University at Semoo.

By: Oribim Ibama

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Environment

NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering

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National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerians to regard any money generated from illegal oil bunkering business also known as “Kpofire” business as blood money.
Rivers State Director of the Agency, Barrister Young Ayotamuno, made the call in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.
Ayotamuno also said kpofire business also negated the right to life of Nigerians.
According to him, citizen’s constitutional rights to life are being breached by the proliferation of illegal refinaries in the region.
Ayotamuno, who said deaths related to respiratory tract infection is likely to increase in the next few years in the region also described as baseless, arguments that poverty and unemployment are responsible for the rising cases of illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.
“You cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines, which is a critical national asset”, stressing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) will continue to sensitise members of the public on the need to protect the nation’s asset.
The NOA director also commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for directing local government chairmen in the state to monitor their areas and ensure the stoppage of illegal oil bunkering activities in their domains.
“NOA is thanking Governor Wike for asking local government chairmen to monitor their areas.
“NOA will continue to sensitise members of the public that you cannot use poverty to justify the breaking of pipelines which is a national assets”.
“The consequence of illegal refinery is that it negates the right to life of the citizen.
“Peoples Constitutional Right to Life is being negated. Peoples environment is being destroyed”, he said.
He said stopping the nefarious activities require a lot of political will add “we must work with state government and federal government to curb it. “Kpofire money is blood money” he declared.
Ayotamuno said the society cannot be battling kpofire and Covid-19 at the same time as reports had it that both incidences are responsible for series of respiratory infections.
He also called on the government to revisit the issues of modular refineries as well as the stoppage of gas flaring in the country.
The NOA Director also called for a half to the practice of burning of tyres and that of bush burning, while destruction of illegal petroleum vessels by military should be stopped.

By: John Bibor

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