An Environmental Neuro-Physiologist and lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Leelee Zitte has called on government to set up research stations to test the level of pollution in the region.
Zitte who spoke to The Tide exclusively last week said the pollution in the Niger Delta had risen to worrisome level, especially with the incidence of soot in the atmosphere.
The environmental expert pointed out that with the rising soot problem, there was need for a scientific study to be carried out to ascertain the level of pollution, especially its health implications.
On what was responsible for the soot, Dr. Zitte was of the view that illegal refinieries, burning of tryes and other industrial wastes could contribute”, even a synergy of one or two sources of pollution can magnify the problem”, he further held.
If the research centres are set up, he believed that they will help to ascertain the level of toxicity of the soot, to the environment and humans.
He further noted that there were prevalence of airborne diseases in the Niger Delta because of rising pollution.
“Oil spillage, gas flaring have negative effects on the body. It scares away wild life, causes diseases such as lung cancer and asthma”, he said.
Dr. Zitte said, “in the Niger Delta there is a prevalence of these disease because these environmental pollution have continued for a long time. It can actually affect the reproductive sysem of the body”.
The neuro physiologist explained that his area of expertise was a branch of environmental study with focus on how pollution and other man-made hazards affect the nervous system and other parts of the body.
If pollution continues for a long time, Zitte warned that it could accumulate in the body through bio-magnification in the environmental, and this could human being and other living things.
NOSDRA Records 229 Pipeline Vandalisation Cases In N’Delta
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), says it recorded over 229 cases of pipeline vandalisation between 2018 and 2019 in the South-South zone.
South-South Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Mr Cyrus Nkangwung who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the level of pipeline vandalisation has continued to increase in the region.
Nkangwung said the situation has also worsened the already polluted environment of the Niger Delta region.
“Between 2018 and 2019, we recorded about 229 cases of pipeline sabotage and it has continued to increase,” he said.
He said NOSDRA will sustain its sensitisation programme on the dangers of pipeline vandalisaiton.
“We need to enlighten communities in the region on the dangers of pipeline sabotage. The activities of vandals are destroying the environment” he said.
Meanwhile, an environmentalist, Prince William Chinwo says time has come for youths of the Niger Delta to be cautioned against involvement in activities that will destroy the environment.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the activities of pipeline vandals were causing untold hardship to the people of the Niger Delta.
According to him, the Niger Delta environment has been destroyed, while in some cases fires from vandalised pipelines have led to series of deaths in the region.
Chinwo also agreed with the NOSDRA Director that there is need for communities in the region to be properly sensitised with a view to calling their youths to order.
He also stressed the need for governments at all levels in the country to initiate programmes that will lead to massive employment opportunities for youths in the region.
John Bibor & Amina Ngoma
Traders Laud RSG Over Weekly Sanitation Exercise
The Rivers State Government has been commended for instituting the Thursday weekly environmental sanitation exercise in markets across the state.
A cross section of traders who spoke with our correspondent during the exercise in Port Harcourt said the situation has improved the aesthetic condition of markets in the state.
They stressed the need for the government to impose sanction on any trader who refused to clean his shop during the exercise.
Speaking, Mrs Patience Ochuze said the weekly cleanup exercise has instilled the culture of cleanliness among traders. She stressed the need for the exercise to be extended to the rural areas.
Also speaking, Mr John Amadi said it is important to cleanup markets, in order to attract customers.
“The market is where we do business, so it is important that we keep it clean he said.
Amadi also stressed the need for market leaderships across the state to impose fines on any trader who absent himself during the period of the exercise.
On her part, Mrs Chinyere Chukwudi said the exercise was the best thing that Rivers State Government has done to traders.
EU/NDSP Water Projects: Community Laments Lack Of Distribution Facilities
The Public Relations Officer of the Nkoro Council of Chiefs in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni III, says many households in the community are not feeling the impact of the European Union (EU) Water Projects in the community.
Alabo Oroni who said this in a telephone interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, however blamed the situation on inadequate water distribution facilities in the area.
He said this government was not to be blamed for the situation as members of the community were required to contribute some monies for the extension of the water facilities round the community and its environs.
The Council of Chiefs PRO said despite the situation, the community is grateful to the European Union (EU) for considering Nkoro community worthy for the siting of water projects.
Meanwhile, Alabo Rogers Ibibo Oroni has commended the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) project, for the siting of a micro water project and civic centre in the community.
According to him, by the siting of the projects, the community is now recognised not only by the Rivers State Government but also by the European Union and the World Bank.
He said the community will ensure that both the civic centre and the water projects are properly maintained.
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