A university teacher and environmental activist, Dr Steve Wordu, has warned against the indiscriminate burning of energy reserves which results in collateral damage on the natural environment.
Dr Wordu who is a lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sociology in the University of Port Harcourt, gave the warning while speaking in an interview with The Tide at the weekend.
He pointed out that if nothing is done about the brazen attacks on the environment through human abuse of its resources, it will amount to total displacement of the very source of human existence.
Describing the environment as “man’s first right”, Dr Wordu said the environment deserves protection, and called for stiffer sanctions against environmental abuse.
He decried the activities of illegal refining of petroleum products which he said were perpetrated to serve the vested interest of few persons at the expense of the larger society,
“It is unfortunate that despite all the efforts put in to stop illegal bunkering, the illicit trade still flourishes in the Niger Delta region. The consequences are not far-fetched as thousands of people who depend solely on the natural environment for their livelihood have been displaced, poverty is now on the increase in the Niger Delta as a result of the lost of aquatic life and agricultural activities which are the economic nerves of the people”.
Dr Wordu called for public sensitisation and awareness against the dangers of illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism, and urged security operatives and other relevant stakeholders to be proactive in the fight against the ills.