Port Harcourt — Artisanal refiners and security operatives have been charged to stop contributing to environmental pollution, which has led to reduction in ecosystem capacity in the Niger Delta region.
The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, said there has been an emergence of a new generation of Niger Delta ecosystem destroyers under the auspices of “kpofire boys and security operatives, who engages unwholesome practice of setting ablaze artisanal crude oil refining sites.
Executive Director of the group, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, particularly blamed the military who employ the crude technique of torching boats and barges, laden with suspected illegal petroleum products and empty their contents into the environment.
Fyneface also said that in Rivers State and in the Niger Delta, activities of oil multinationals and artisanal crude oil refineries, contribute to environmental degradation and reduction in ecosystem capacity to support human lives on earth.
“Advocacy Centre had observed over the years with sadness, the emergence of a new generation of Niger Delta ecosystem destroyers under the auspices of “kpofire boys” and security operatives that resort to the unwholesome practice of setting ablaze artisanal crude oil refining sites, boats and barges suspected to be carrying illegal petroleum products and empty their contents into the environment incessantly.
“In the first quarter of 2021 alone, we observed in Port Harcourt, especially at Creek Road and Abuloma areas, how security operatives set ablaze no fewer than 10 of such boats and barges with their contents spilled into the ecosystem and the atmosphere filled with thick black smoke from incomplete combustion that contribute to the soot pollution that affects all of us daily.
“Artisanal crude oil refiners in Rivers State and the Niger Delta should stop further environmental pollution, embrace government and organizational proposed alternative means of livelihoods including modular refineries.”
The enviromental justice activist charged security operatives contributing to environmental pollution in Rivers State to stop forthwith, make peace with nature and adopt best practices in the destruction of illegal hydrocarbon facilities.
“Security operatives should also join forces with individuals and organizations to carry out advocacy, plant trees, regreen our environment, clean our rivers and coasts like the American Coast Guards does especially during the 2010 Gulf of Mexican oil spill and subsequent clean up.
“Just as we also have ongoing in the Ogoni area of Rivers State where they have also been involved in the same act of destroying illegal artisanal crude oil refining sites, setting boats and barges ablaze and contributing to the pollution being cleaned up.”