President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr Fegalo Nsuke, has decried the impact of gas flaring and oil spillage in Niger Delta communities.
Nsuke, an environmental expert and human rights activist, expressed his worries in an interview on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He attributed the cause of environmental pollution in the region to sabotage by stakeholders and poor government’s response to the plight of the people of the region.
Nsuke particularly expressed worry over continued gas flaring by the operating oil companies in Rivers state.
“It has become necessary for relevant stakeholders to embark on quick steps towards ending gas flaring in the region,” he said.
According to him, gas flaring is a major contributor to air pollution which has over the years affected both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Nsuke further said there was high level of oil spillage in the Niger Delta due mainly to non-compliance with operational standards by the oil companies.
“Violators are not being sanctioned for environmental pollution, hence, they have continued to disregard operational guidelines.
“As a result, the Niger Delta region has continued to suffer untold hardship and environmental degradation as a result of oil exploration activities.
“Aquatic and terrestrial lives have been destroyed leaving residents in abject poverty and insecurity,” he added.
The environmental expert said flared gas and oil spills are also major causes of climate change because they force animals to leave their original habitats.
“The traditional rulers seem helpless and rather submit to the will of the oil firms because of poverty and the fear of losing government recognition,” he alleged.
Nsuke said the various civil society groups in the region, especially MOSOP have made appropriate efforts on community enlightenment and engagements.
“These positive efforts are basically geared towards championing human and environmental right protection,” he said.
By Ikuru Lizzy