Port Harcourt — In celebrating this year’s World Environment Day recently, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, has tasked the government at all levels and oil multinationals, for a renewed commitment towards ending all sources of air pollution in the Niger Delta region.
President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, particularly identified illegal refineries, gas flaring by oil multinationals, unregulated vehicular emissions, diesel engine fumes, burning of tires, burning of biomass, as sources of air pollution.
Pyagbara said all these, amongst several others, were contributing daily to compromise the integrity and quality of air in the Niger Delta environment and the country at large, thereby causing air pollution.
He said the choice of the theme of this year’s WED, “Air Pollution”, was very timely and urgent, adding that there was no other time in human history that the air and atmosphere have been as polluted as we have today.
“In Nigeria, air pollution confronts us everywhere, from gas flaring in the Niger Delta to the unregulated vehicular emissions on our roads; from the use of diesel engines to petrol generating sets, particularly the one called ‘I pass my neighbour’, to light our homes, to the burning of biomass and waste; from the illegal artisanal refining of crude oil, to the burning of tyres.
“It is time for the Rivers State Government to rise to the challenge and confronts the menace of the three-year-old soot that has ravaged the entire State, with the concentration of tiny invisible airborne particles that are threatening the health of citizens of the State, and polluting the environment.
“It is time for the federal government and the multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to stop gas flaring and save the lives of the peoples of the region from its attendant pollutions.
“It is time for the local government and our communities to stand up against illegal artisanal refining of crude oil and also enforce regulations relating to the emissions from our vehicles.”
MOSOP also said air pollution has been reported to be responsible for the death of millions of people yearly, especially children, as it has been estimated that 90percent of the world population breath polluted air and, someone around the world dies every five seconds due to air pollution.