The Centre For Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has said that the proposed 260 kilometre Calabar Super Highway project may lead to the extinction of the endemic double headed snake, known as Calabar ground python or Calabaria reinhardtii.
The centre which said this in a press release made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt said that the snake which was found only in Cross River State faces imminent extinction, if the project was allowed to go own without adequate safeguard on the environment.
According to the organization, “such projects should avoid biodiversity hot spots as it is presently conceived, while alternative routes are explored”.
It also urged the government to take stringent measures to protect and conserve existing biodiversity sanctuaries.
“Nationally, there is dire need to establish community based wildlife sanctuaries. Government needs to step up eco tourism policy and put the policy to practice, while funding research in that direction”, it said.
The release which was signed Dr. Kabari Sam, Head Environment and Conservation CEHRD also called on the citizenry and Governments at all levels to reflect on this year’s World Environment Day and take practical steps to prevent further loss of biodiversity and critical habitats and restore degraded ecosystem and redeemable species.
According to the group, the Niger Delta region where over fire decades of oil spills has left environmental and human rights abuses on the local population, requires intense efforts for environmental restoration.
The organisation also urged the government to begin the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland.
“CEHRD appreciates Government efforts at setting up the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), a ground truthing investigation of the sites investigated by UNEP should be on-going.
“This is not only necessary to incorporate new spiles sites, but to ascertain the current status of the sites investigated by UNEP given the dynamic nature of the environment.
“A ground breaking exercise will indicate Government readiness to sincerely clean-up Ogoniland”, release said.
CSOs Partner Govt On Climate Change
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
Monarch Advises Community On Sanitation
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
NOA Charges Nigerians On Illegal Oil Bunkering
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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