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Monday, June 5, 2023

World Ocean Day: Group seeks UN’s help in tackling marine pollution in Nigeria

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mission for Rescue of Nigeria Socio-cultural Environment (MIRENSEN), has pleaded with the United Nations (UN), governments and public private sector to help in cleaning the marine environment off pollution.

Plastic waste pollution
Plastic waste pollution

Amb. Sokari Afiesimama, the Country Project Director of the Coastal Communities Working Team (CCWT), an organ of MIRENSEN, made the plea in a statement issued on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, and made available to journalists in Jos, Plateau State.

According to him, the organisation looks up to the stakeholders in tackling several marine plastic pollution and reduce water contamination as the world prepares to observe the World Ocean Day in June.

Afiesimama noted that the organisation was founded for recreating sustainable aquaculture environment and it would be prepared to make critical impressions in the commemoration of the 2023 World Ocean Day.

“If the UN and governments are serious to achieve the UN Environment Assembly schedules for cleaner oceans, then it’s reasonable to collaborate with willing non-governmental organisations, community and faith-based organisations to enforce a fight against the menace of water pollution.

“We appeal to the incoming government to be led by Bola Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima, the Vice-President elect, Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, governors, legislators, owners of fishing vessels, seafood merchants and consumers, among others, to bringing their expertise on board to help in the project.

“We are not stopping at that, the UN World Ocean Day avails us opportunity for discussing the path towards adding all voice together for organising an African continent treaty to tackle plastic pollution within the African Coastal Communities lines.

“We conducted the Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (MEIA) indicating that there are more than 200 trillion plastics in the sea environment, implanted, on sea floors and floating the ocean space, with up to 51 trillion fragments in surface waters alone.

“We should expose it to the world that the rate at which marine plastic pollution harms aquatic-mammals that ingest or become entangled in it, are highly alarming, while the evaluation on risk to humans who eat contaminated seafoods is still unknown.

“We have and are still building capacity to remove and reuse the trillions of marine wastes and we need support,’’ Afiesimama said.

He appreciated Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Rep. Anderson Igbiks, Member Representing Okrika Federal Constituency, Assemblyman Ikuinyi Ibani, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Assemblyman Lynda Stalwarts, Member Representing Okrika Constituency, among others, for their contributions to Ocean environment conservation.

By Blessing Odega

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