The Centre for Environ
ment Human Rights and Development (CERHD) says, the proposed fifty five million pounds compensation by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPC) to Bodo over the 2012 Bodo oil spills does not represents victory for pollution ravaged communities of the Niger Delta.
The programme director of the centre, Mr Steve Obodokwe, who said this in an conclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said that rather than celebrate pollution ravaged communities should see it as a stepping stone for environmental justice “I must say that, it is not yet Uhuru. The people of Bodo and other communities in the Niger Delta should not think that it is all over.
“They must not go to sleep. Something must be done to ensure people get environmental justice”, he said.
On the issue of cleanup of the affected sites, he said that (CEHRD) had already made its position known to SPDC, that the cleanup should start first quarter of this year.
According to him, this is the time for Niger Deltans to be vigilant, knowing that the future is not bleak, especially now that the polluters are fully aware that it is no more business as usual as justice will surely come.
Mr Obodokwe said that the centre will continue to champion the course of environmental justice in the Niger Delta.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the Niger Delta have urged for collaboration between the media civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities to check the incessant cases of oil pollution of the region.
At a one day workshop organised by the Centre for Environment Human Right and Development (CEHRD) in Port Harcourt, the stakeholders also urged for adequate compensation for victims of oil pollution.
They noted that the workshop with the theme: “After Bodo: what next for oil impacted communities” should serve as a wakeup call for communities devastated by pollution to take up the challenge of fighting for its rights.
Edo Community Drags Abattoir Owner To Court Over Environmental Pollution
Ikpoba Slope Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government area of Edo State has dragged Mrs Sarah Uwaifor, owner of an abattoir located at Ohen-Ore in the community to a Benin Chief Magistrate Court over alleged environmental pollution in the community.
In a suit number MOGB/56/2021, Mr Ken Omusi and Mr Kenneth Imafidon, on behalf of Ikpoba Youth Development Association and other inhabitants of the community claimed that the cow dungs and waste excreta from the defendant’s abattoir were dumped in the community as well as burning of cow hair and skin constitute nuisance in the area.
They alleged that the community had tried to persuade her to abate the nuisance but she did not listen to them.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration of the court that allowing the burning of cow hair, roasting of cow head and dump of cow excreta and dungs in the community constitute health hazards to the inhabitants of the community.
They also prayed for perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, her servants, agents, or workers at the abattoir from dumping cow excreta, roasting cow head and dumping cow dung along the street of the community.
The community are also seeking N5 million general damages from the defendant for the nuisance she has been and still constituting in the area.
The defendant after listening to charges in court pleaded not guilty while the counsel of the plaintiff and defendant Chief Abayomi Thomas and E I. Otabor respectively asked the court to fix a date for hearing.
Chief Magistrate Prince Mutairu Oarhe, consequently, adjourned the case to January 11, 2022, for hearing.
Oyo Tribunal Fines 60 Persons For Allegedly Violating Environmental Laws
Oyo State Environmental Tribunal court has fined no fever than 60 persons over various sanitation infractions.
The Tide source reports that 60 people were fined for allegedly flouting the state’s environmental sanitation laws during sanitation on Saturday.
The Tide reports that the violators were fined at Bodija, Iwo-road, Beere, Sapati, Elewi-Odo, Ojoo, Gate, Oke-bola and other locations in Ibadan.
Magistrate, Mr. Raheem Wasiu in his judgment, said the offenders were caught dumping refuse in unauthorised areas and are guilty of violating the environmental sanitation and waste management laws.
He charged the violators a fine of between ¦ 5,000 and ¦ 25,000 for their offences.
Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Abiodun Oni, in his remarks, commended the Magistrate for his professionalism.
He added that the present administration in the state, will not leave any stone unturned towards regaining the environmental sanity in the state.
“No matter how we take care of our environment, it usually has an impact on every stakeholder’s health and as soon as we enforce the law, it goes a long way in making the state a healthy one.
“Oyo State is a pacesetter state, a state we should be proud of and strive in making it safe and healthy for all and sundry”.
Revive Forest Reserves, Expert Urges RSG
Worried over the depleting natural resources caused by land prospectors and poachers, Professor of Biodiversity in the Rivers State University, Geofrey Akaniwor has made an appeal to the state government to revive forest conservation.
Akaniwor in an interview with The Tide stated that over five forest reserves in the state are endangered as they have been abandoned over the years.
Among the forest reserves now endangered include Lower Orashi in Abua/Odual Local Government Area and parts of Kalabari; Upper Orashi in Abua/Odual, Sombreiro Reserve located in parts of Ikwerre and Ahoada Local Government Areas, Otamiri Reserve sited in Ikwerre and Etche Local Government Areas.
Others are Upper Imo River Reserve in Etche and Daen or Lower Imo River Reserve in Khana Local Government Area.
He also urged that the Andoni Forest Reserve which harbours the remaining forest elephants and hippos in the state should be given attention as well.
The university teacher said forest reserves help promote biodiversity and resource protection warning that endangered species play huge role in sustaining life and stability of the environment.
Besides, he was of the view that conservation can help provide jobs and tourism as government can employ rangers who will be trained to guard those forests from being encroached upon.
Meanwhile, Prof. Akaniwor has recommended that the Port Harcourt Zoological Garden(Zoo) be relocated to more expansive and serene location.
He said the site where the zoo is now has been overtaken by urbanisation and that safety of animals are not safe in such environment
Akaniwor suggested that the zoo can be relocated to either Oyibo Local Government Area by the fringes of Imo River or to Etche where there more expansive land for such facility.
By: Kevin Nengia & Excellent Omehoma
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