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‘Proposed Expansion Of Indorama Detrimental To Our Environment’

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A group, Alliance for the Defence of Eleme, a non-governmental organisation has alleged that the proposed expansion of Indorama Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company Limited will lead to further destruction of the Eleme environment.
According to a press release made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the planned expansion of Indorama Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company Limited without proper environmental impact assessment will further destroy the Eleme environment.
It therefore, called on International finance institutions to suspend their proposed financial support to the company for its expansion project.
The release further said the  expansion project is even against a subsisting Court order against further expansion of the company owing to the destruction of its environment.
It particularly urged the African Development Bank, EAIF and the International Finance Corporation, to suspend financial support to Indorama Petrochemicals limited pending the resolution of the issues.
The group argued that providing financial support to Indorama when a court of competent jurisdiction has restrained it from further polluting its environment will amount to environmental crime against the people of Eleme.
Signed by Johnson Emere Mba Ngei, the leader of the group, the release says: “I am writing to you on behalf of the Alliance for the Defence of Eleme to express our grave concerns regarding the recent decisions to provide financial support to Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company Limited for the expansion of their operations in Eleme, Rivers State, Nigeria.
“We understand that the African Development Bank, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have all committed financial assistance to Indorama for various projects in Nigeria.
“While we acknowledge the importance of infrastructure development and economic growth, we must emphasise the legal and ethical implications of providing financial assistance to a company currently embroiled in legal proceedings.
“It is crucial for you to be aware that there is a subsisting court order, at the Federal High Court Port Harcourt with suit No: FHC/PH/CS/23/2024, restraining Indorama from further pollution of our environment,’’the group said.
“This court order underscores the serious environmental and social justice concerns surrounding Indorama’s operations in Eleme. Providing financial support to Indorama at this time could be seen as being culpable of an environmental crime or enabling actions that are in contempt of court and detrimental to the well-being of the local community.

The release said that the people of Eleme have endured severe  environmental degradation of their land  by Indorama Petrochemicald and fertilizer company limited adding that this has resulted to severe health impact on the people.

“The people of Eleme have endured severe environmental degradation and health impacts as a result of Indorama’s operations

. “The continued expansion of these operations without proper environmental safeguards and compliance with legal requirements poses a direct threat to our health, livelihoods, and future generations.

“In light of these circumstances, we urge all three organizations to suspend their decisions to provide financial support to Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company.

“We believe that continuing to fund a company facing legal challenges and environmental concerns contradicts the principles of responsible investing and sustainable development that your organizations uphold and makes you an accomplice to the said environmental crime.

Therefore, we urge the African Development Bank, EAIF, and IFC to suspend the provision of financial support to Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company until the legal matter is resolved in court.

“We further request that the suspension of financial assistance be publicly announced in at least three national dailies in Nigeria within the next seven days from this publication .
Should any of the organizations fail to take appropriate action to suspend financial support and address our concerns, we will have no choice but to pursue legal action against them for their role in enabling industrial genocide and social injustice in Eleme.

 

By: John Bibor

 

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Environment

Group Advocates End To Plastic Wastes

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Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an ecology-focused Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called for a drastic reduction in the use of plastics to save planet earth from suffocation.
This was contained in a press release made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt.in reactions to the just concluded World Earth Day celebration.
According to the release signed by Komev Odhomo HOMEF media /communications lead, HOMEF noted that celebrating Earth Day is an annual event designed to shed light on serious environmental problems faced from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation.
“World Earth Day reminds us as humans that the Earth is ours to protect and preserve but over time humans have abandoned their roles in protecting the planet because of selfishness and drive for profit.
The International Mother Earth Day’s theme this year ‘Planet vs Plastic’ urges us to build a liveable future for humans, other beings, and natural systems.
We stand united in our fight against non-biodegradable waste pollution.
“Our addiction to single-use plastics suffocates the planet. Plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, clog our water bodies, and cause harmful impacts as a result of their chemical composition.
“Sadly, the world is literally a plastic civilisation due to a vested interest in hydrocarbons and ease of application, HOMEF said.
It qouted the Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation,  Dr Nnimmo Bassey, as advocating for urgent action to ban the production and usage of single-use plastics.
He further urged action by everyone to be involved in efforts to kick out plastics.
Now is a critical time to choose between planet and plastic. Good sense tells us to choose the planet, our Mother Earth that sustains all lives.
Poor sense driven by profit urges humans to choose plastics because of the ease they bring, despite the harmful impacts on our health, climate, and overall health of the planet.
As we mark World Earth Day 2024, the alarm must be sounded that it is time to uproot plastics from their fossil base or be ready to be turned into plastic humans living plastic lives and heading to an infernal plastic future.  At HOMEF, we are all for the planet, people, and all life forms,” Bassey said.
HOMEF  noted that research has shown that 380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year, while only nine percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Campaigns around the world calling for a 60 percent reduction in plastic by 2040 are commendable and worthy of support.

At Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), we believe in the intrinsic Rights of Mother Earth and the rights of humans and other beings to be respected and to live in dignity.

It is time to build up courage and to preserve and protect our health, and our livelihoods by embracing alternatives that are sustainable, healthy, and safe for the planet. We must stop all forms of destructive extractive activities in Nigeria, Africa, and the World.

The Planet vs Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being on our planet,” We are submerged in a sea of plastic wastes, from our creeks to the ocean. It’s time we did better!”

 

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Environment

WED:Activists Task Govt On Plastic Pollution, Synophom Ban

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Civil societies and environmental rights activists have tasked governments across the country to find solutions to the issue of plastic pollution.
They also called on  Rivers state and other state governments in the country to ban syrophom as was done in Lagos.
The activists said this while reacting to the theme of the just concluded World Earth Day celebration which held across the world last Monday 22 April,2024.
The theme for this year’s celebration  was”Planet vs Plastic”. According to information on the website of the United Nations Environment Programm( UNEP),  380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year,while only 9 percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled.
It was also found that over 5.25 trillion macro and micro process of plastic are lying on the ocean bed
It noted that “The Planet v Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastic pollution
Environmental Right Activists said time has come for the government to either ensure an outright ban on plastic productions or seek for ways of recycling them.
It would be noted that the effects of plastic pollution is being felt by communities across the country
Recently, the Amadi-Ama Community in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State raised alarm over the scourge of plastic pollution in its waterways.
According to the community, plastic pollution in its water ways has not only affected aquactic lives but has hampered communication including movement of vessels within its water ways.
Amadi -Ama Community is not alone in this, other communities have also raised concern.
In Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor local government areas, dumping of plastic into drainages were largely blamed for the flooding withnessed annually in the city.
According to respondents ,plastics dumped into drainages by unscrupulous elements always block the free flow of water to the river, thereby causing flooding.
Meanwhile, some Environmental Right Activists have been speaking on the celebration.
According to some of them, solution to plastic pollution must be sought urgently by the Authorities
They urged governments at all levels to embark on a programmes of plastic recycling while also sensitising the public on the dangers associated with indiscriminate dumping of plastics into the environment including water ways.
She also decried the indiscriminate dumping of plastics by residents of Port Harcourt City and Obio Akpor, adding that it contributes to flooding being experienced in the city.
Meju said  the best way to dispose off plastics must be sought out.
Olatunji Olawapo of Sustainability and Climate Literacy particularly urged the Rivers State Government to ban syrophom,a plastic used by food vendors to wrap food for their customers.
He said syrophom does not decay adding it constitute a big environmental nuisance

Olawapo argued that  if Lagos State can banned it, there is no reason why Rivers state cannot do same.

Olawapo also urged for more sensitisation on the effects of plastic pollution the on the environment he said his organisation based in Eagle Island Port Harcourt has been doing a lot in the area of environmental sustainability.

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Environment

South East Businessmen Charge Governors On Rail, Security, Others

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Business community in Se South East has asked governors in the zone to eschew individualism and forge cooperation for the development of the region.
They identified development of the rail system, security, power and roads as areas the states should cooperate, citing what was going on in the South West states.
Some businessmen, who spoke, said only regional cooperation could enable the people of the area to fully benefit from the present enhanced attention some of the states were placing on repositioning and upgrading of infrastructures.
They also said governments and the organised private sector groups in the five states needed to work in synergy.
This comes on the heels of huge investments organisations, like Geometric Power, have thrown into the system in Aba, Abia State, to ensure uninterrupted electricity power supply, the rehabilitation of the Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway, eastern rail lines currently being restored, as well as promises from the Federal Government, to reignite the industrialisation of the zone.
Immediate past president of Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Jerry Kalu, said there was need to link the major cities in the zone with a rail line, good roads and other infrastructures that will bring them together industrially and provide avenues of assisting one another, in development.
In achieving this, Kalu said private sector organs should always be taken in by governments of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states, in planning their annual, medium and long-term development programmes and budgeting, to accommodate all sectors of the society.
He commended Governor Alex Otti’s administration in Abia, for being the first to ever invite ACCIMA to participate and present the needs and aspirations of the organised private sector for input into the 2024 budget, during the preparations last year.
Former president of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICIMA), Kevin Obieri, said individualism was the bane of development in the region.
Obieri said such attitude affects everything happening in the South East, noting that even the altruistic ones among the people talk about their community, town or friends instead of collective development of the region.
According to him, the individualistic approach to life also made the South East Governors’ Forum a very weak institution not strong enough to help articulate and pursue an integrated approach to development in the zone in the areas of power, railway and security, industrial concerns and transportation.
“Any railway or road that does not take into consideration its outlet to the sea and the need for our people to evacuate their imports easily into the hinterlands, will always have problems. To get the private sector to support it will be difficult too because the private sector is also looking for its own benefits, what affects it directly.
“It is a very complex situation that needs good leadership, a leadership that plays beyond party and personal levels. A leadership that can look at things in the overall benefit of the region,” he said.
In addition, Obieri called for the decentralisation of the security architecture in Nigeria.
“Let there be clear cut constitutional changes in theory and practice and our people can do more in this regard. People come from Imo State and do kidnapping in Anambra and go back. Without proper cooperation between the South East governors, there will always be problems. Today, you hardly hear Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma and Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo talking because they belong to different parties. Otti is on his own too and this situation is not the best for us,” he said.

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