Port Harcourt — An Environmental Rights group known as Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, on Wednesday charged the Federal Government to set up modalities for the clean up of the entire Niger Delta, following the continuous hydrocarbon pollution of the region through oil exploration.
Director of the Foundation, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, speaking at a lunch organised for journalists in Port Harcourt, called for the urgent commencement of an environmental impact assessment of the entire region, that would lead to a clean-up, just as it was done in Ogoniland.
Bassey lamented that the Niger Delta region is the 10th most polluted environment in the world, and the most polluted environment in Africa.
According to him, “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 occuring everyday. In Bayelsa State, an oil spills occurred, recently. We know the polluters and the polluters should pay for the clean up of the entire Niger Delta environment.
“The Niger Delta region is the 10th most polluted environment in the whole world. The Niger Delta region is also the most polluted environment in Africa.”
Also speaking, an Environmentalist and Pro-Ogoni Activist, Mr. Celestine Akpobari, said everything about human life revolves around the environment, explaining that the environmental devastation in the Niger Delta region was killing the people of the region.
“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, they eat poisoned food and the breathe poisoned and contaminated air. We are not giving attention to the environment as we should, knowing that everything we have, including our clothings come 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 for obituaries.”
The activist also kicked against the acquisition of OML11 by the Rivers State Government, saying “Leaving Ogoni oil in the soil has been the most difficult thing to do. The oil in Ogoniland is not an ordinary oil, it is laced with the blood of over 2,000 Ogoni people. Please, tell Governor Wike to leave Ogoni oil in the soil.”