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Bayelsa seeks UN support to tackle environmental challenges in Niger Delta

The Bayelsa State Government has urged the United Nations to support efforts towards tackling environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region.

Douye Diri
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

Gov. Douye Diri made the appeal on Thursday, May 2, 2024, at Otuan, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, during an assessment visit to a police station donated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Represented by his deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Diri said that the region was facing environmental injustice following the activities of oil companies.

He said that there was need for stakeholders to work together towards tackling the environmental challenges in the region.

“We call on the EU, development partners and environmental rights organisations to support the Niger Delta in tackling this challenge.

“We need to work together in engaging the international oil companies to address all manner of environmentally unwholesome practices in the region.

“We have witnessed gas flaring and oil spillage occurring unchecked for decades in the region, it is unfair,” he said.

The governor identified outbreak of strange diseases and death as some of the effects of the “recklessness” by oil companies in the area.

Diri said that the state government had taken several steps to seek redress, including making a case before the United Kingdom’s parliament.

The governor further urged the international community to support the state in the area of youth development in order to curb drug abuse and crime.

Earlier, the Amananaowei of Otuan,  Christopher Okoto, thanked UNODC for choosing the community for its rural development and security project.

The paramount ruler of Otuan, urged the state government to expand the youth development centre and to build a mechanised cassava processing factory in the community.

By Shedrack Frank

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