Port Harcourt — In order to mitigate the heavy impact of hydrocarbon pollution caused by oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta, the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, says it will plant at least 50,000 mangrove trees in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
President of Rotary Club Port Harcourt Eco, Rtn. Emem Bridget Okon, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, during the launching of the Plant a Mangrove Project, said mangroves also serve as a defence between the sea and the land.
Okon lamented that oil spills, illegal refinning, over-exploitation of mangrove trees for firewoods and municipal expansion, were the major threats to mangroves in the Niger Delta.
The environmental rights advocate explained that Plant A Mangrove Project has already began as over 1,057 mangrove trees have been planted by the Club in Rumuolumeni since March 2021.
She added that the project was in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Yenagoa Eco, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Phoenix, etc.
“The Niger Delta environment is heavily impacted by hydrocarbon pollution, due to many years of oil and gas exploration and exploitation and that is what has necessitated this project.
“Rotary is contributing to the restoration of the ecosystem through this project. We have just inaugurated our Plant A Mangrove Tree Project. We (the Club) are an issue-based club and we are focusing on environmental protection and ecosystem restoration.
“We are looking at 50,000 mangrove trees in Rivers and Bayelsa State. We have started in Rumuolumeni and we are looking at Okrika and Bodo city Ogoni, but as we go on, we will identify other areas too.
“The mangrove trees absorbs carbon in the air and also address climate change issues. Mangroves also helps in the area of restoring livelihoods for people living in the coastal areas.”
Also speaking, the President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Mrs. Precious Ovie-Oyubu, said mangroves restoration will help in tackling the hydrocarbon soot pollution bedeviling the state.
“Protection of the environment is one of the areas of focus for us at Rotary. This is because when the ecosystem is restored, the aquatic lives, the flora and fauna and even people’s livelihoods will be restored.
“Mangrove restoration will also help in tackling the effect of soot pollution in Rivers State.”