Port Harcourt — The Ijaw National Congress , INC, has blamed the problem of ocean encroachment in the Niger Delta region on oil exploration activities by the multinational oil companies operating in the country.
Second Vice President of the INC, Chief Nengia James, who disclosed this, said oil companies had moved their operations offshore into the sea with its attendant negative impacts on the environment.
James classified the massive impact of ocean surge being experienced in the Gulf of Guinea as “oceanification,” which he
said was comparable to desertification.
He spoke at a workshop on the State of the Ocean/Gulf of Guinea, organized by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, in Port Harcourt.
“The term ‘oceanification’ is used to illustrate the effects of the encroachment of the ocean on both non-human and man’s existence.
“The menace has continued to wash away farmlands, communities and related infrastructure, thereby rendering people homeless particularly those in communities around the fringes of the ocean and seas.”
According to him, oceanification is compounded by the high levels of pollution, deforestation and the fragmentation of the Niger Delta ecosystems by the activities of oil and gas companies.
“With the deforestation going on in the
Niger Delta and the loss of mangrove in the river, and the dangers of ocean encroachment on farmland and communities, the shore needs to be protected and the continuous advocacy for the protection and restoration
of the mangrove forests will go a long way to preserve the Gulf of Guinea.”
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