The member representing Port Harcourt Constituency 1 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Victoria Nyeche, says any development initiative that does not take the environment into consideration is unsustainable.
Nyeche, the founder of Go Green Movement, an environmental advocacy campaign organisation, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
She said that the only way to protect human life was to preserve, conserve and protect the environment.
“The NGO is about the green way of life, it’s an advocacy campaign trying to create environmental awareness because we believe that government should not just talk about development without considering the environment.
“There is need for people to think deeply about the action they take, we need to look at the natural resources that God has provided and use them in a sustainable way.
“That we don’t pay for air doesn’t mean we should pollute the air, that we have water in abundance doesn’t mean we should waste it,’’ she said.
According to Nyeche, the NGO is creating awareness on how people can develop their environment in a way that future generations can also benefit.
“We should not affect the environment in such a way that when you ask your children what a forest is, it become an abstract thing because they won’t get to see forests.
“We are making people know as individuals, NGOs and government, we have a duty to protect our environment and make it a household word that everybody will be a part of.
“So, when government spends so much money in Ministries of Health, Works and others, and appropriate little to Ministry of Environment, they are not actually thinking sustainability.
“A good example is the land reclamation that is going on at Nkpogu area of Port Harcourt without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
“At the end, it will cause flood and displace people and you just begin to wonder if the development is for the people or the people for the development,” the lawmaker said.
Nyeche, the only female legislator in Rivers Assembly, said that even in business, people must not ruin the environment.
“The full cost of a tree is not to cut it down to get timber; it also purifies the environment by taking off the carbon dioxide and providing us with oxygen.
“So, it sustains our life but people don’t even give a second thought when they cut down trees, they don’t consider the number of years it takes for a tree to grow,’’ she said.
Nyeche said the Go Green Movement has a nexus with her aspiration to vie for a seat in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly in 2019 to consolidate on her environmental campaign.
By Omuboye Sukubo