HOMEF wants stiffer penalties for oil spillage
The Director, Health Mother Earth Foundation, (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey has charged the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to ensure less pollution in the Niger Delta region.
Bassey said, oil spills have continued unabated in the region because there were no serious penalties on the polluters.He said if NOSDRA and the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) were able to penalise polluters stiffly, they would learn to stop polluting the environment.
Bassey spoke when the foundation donated fishing kits to fishers in Dic-Fiberesima Community in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State. He said, “Fishers recorded more fish in the waters during the COVID-19 lockdown because there were less pollution from oil companies and illegal refineries in the waters.
“This means that, if there is less hydrocarbon pollution in Niger Delta, the environment has a chance of recovery. So, we are stressing the need for protection of environment, stoppage of oil spill and dropping of waste in the water bodies”.
“This is a lesson for NOSDRA and the Federal Government to rise to its responsibilities. NOSDRA has a duty to detect, respond and stop oil spills from happening again. By the time they are able to penalise polluters, they will learn to stop polluting. NOSDRA need to, “ he added.
Bassey said the gifts to fishermen were to help revive their economic lives. “We know that many of our fishing communities are having a very hard time because of oil spills in the water as well as the COVID-19 restrictions, which they suffer.
“So many of them, their economy has literally collapsed, many of them do not have the tools for fishing. Even if they can go to fish, it was difficult, so we decided to give them fishing kits to help rebuild their economy.”
Some of the fishermen reiterated that they recorded more fishes during the COVID-19 lockdown adding that the gesture would revive their lives.
One of them, Fubara Samuel said, “We recorded more fish during the COVID-19 because oil activities reduced. The local refining also reduced. We are grateful for the kits, it will turn our lives around and increase our economy.”