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Environmentalists urge study, clean-up of Niger Delta

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The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has again called on the Federal Government to carry out an environmental assessment of the Niger Delta to give room for a wholesale clean up of the region.

Its Director, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, who spoke in Port Harcourt, described the oil-rich area as the 10th most polluted environment in the world and the most contaminated in Africa.

Addressing a media parley, he stated: “The Federal Government should start the assessment of the entire Niger Delta environment so that the clean up of the region can commence like that of the Ogoni environment.

“New oil spills are occurring everyday. In Bayelsa State, an oil spill just occurred. We know the polluters and the polluters should pay for the clean up of the entire Niger Delta environment.”

Also speaking, another environmentalist, Celestine Akpobari, reiterated that man’s existence is tied to the environment, adding that the polluted water in the region has continued to affect the lives of the citizens.He said: “In many (Ogoni) communities, chiefs are now young boys because you cannot see old people again. They have all died because of the devastation of the environment.”

Akpobari urge partnership in the fight against environmental degradation, noting that the oil in Ogoniland was not found in difficult terrain, hence extraction has been seamless.

His words: “Everything about a man is tied to his environment. If you want to destroy a man, destroy his environment. Most people you see on the streets of the Niger Delta are walking corpses because their environment has been contaminated.

“They drink poisoned water, eat poisoned food and breathe poisoned and contaminated air. We are not giving attention to the environment as we should, knowing that everything we have, including out clothing comes from the environment.“It is the devastation of the environment that is killing the people. Go to our communities, you will see posters thinking that they are for political campaigns, but no, they are obituaries.”


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