As the world continues to celebrate World Earth Day the women from Niger Delta Communities have decried food insecurity in the area due to loss of livelihood as a result of many years of oil exploration and exploitation by the oil companies in the region.
The women made the observation at a one-day programme to mark the World Earth Day, a day set aside to commemorate the importance of the earth and how human beings should invest in the earth positively by protecting earth. The celebration started since 1970.
In her remark, the Executive Director of Kebekache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emen Okon said that the event was used to celebrate the earth but due to the green house gases causing global warming people are now suffering from devastating pollution such as hurricane, earthquake, tornadoes and many other environmental hazards around the globe.
She explained that “we cannot continue to sit idle while the bleeds from environmental degradation as a result of oil mining in the World including Nigeria.
We expect everyone to take action. Let us stop gas flaring and other environmental pollution in the Niger Delta.”
The Executive Director maintained that the flood ravaging the region is unbearable and destructive in nature which is accelerated by the many years of degradation and the destruction of the ecosystem by the different oil companies operating in the area.
Earlier, Zadok Foundation in their Goodwill message by the Director, Michael Aggrey called on government, corporation and individual to invest positively in the planet and make the earth a healthy, safe and sustainable place, saying that protecting the environment was a duty all must obey.
He tasked all and sundry to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, noting that “Our contribution to energy conservation is very critical at all times,” while advising local communities to clean their surroundings and dispose their refuse properly especially their plastic waste as this is causing damage to the water bodies.
Aggrey urged community activists to contribute to build an enviable planet by planting more trees and stop the use of pesticides and chemical on farms.
In his contribution, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey tasked community people to use poems, story-telling and drama to explain their plight and drive home their demand and be courageous to fight against environmental injustice as the people of South Africa did to some oil multinationals.
A Niger Delta Activist, Ken Henshaw and a publisher, Constance Meju corroborated by saying that “the earth that give us food has been vandalised by pollution thereby increasing hunger, food insecurity, high cost of foods, among others.”
“We are not doing the earth a favour but ourselves,” they said.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Mariam Orovwuje, deputy executive director, ERA/Friends of the Earth.
The highlight of the event was the Moot Court Presided by Prof. Sofiri Peterside where judgment was delivered against all the multinationals operating in the Niger Delta, as five communities such as Biseni, Okuzi, K. Dere, Ibaa and Obele suffered heavy environmental degradation due to pollution from the oil firms.
Recall that many people in the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta are suffering from cancer, polluted water, destruction of their natural livelihood, diseases and incessant deaths, among others.