World Environment Day: YEAC Calls For Collective Effort For Cleaner Rivers State

Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) joins the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the peoples of Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria and the rest of the world to mark 2022 World Environment Day (WED) today with the theme “Only One Earth” and calls for collective efforts for cleaner environment in Rivers State.

The Executive Director of YEAC-Nigeria, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface uses the opportunity of this year’s celebration to appeal to the general public and residents of Rivers state to keep their surroundings clean, promote sanitation, cleanliness and be more environmental friendly to enjoy good health and healthier atmosphere especially this era of COVID-19 pandemic and monkeypox among other diseases associated with even dirty environment. Adding that “This call became necessary for a collective, transformative action with a clear realization that our environment is the sum total of our surroundings which determine our wellbeing or otherwise; development or retardation and the total man”.

The Executive Director of YEAC further appeals to the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to appoint a Commissioner for Environment to drive the State environmental services, enforce environmental laws, facilitate the city’s waste management and speedy restoration of Port Harcourt to its garden city status.

Fyneface further called on the Governor to make good his promise of employing 3,000 sanitation marshals made while signing the “Dumping of Waste in Public Places (Prohibition) Bill 2020” into Law to support the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) and even the newly constituted 5-Man Waste Removal Committee/Taskforce to support them in the implementation and enforcement of sanitation Laws in the State and ensure that the streets and medians are neat and free of refuse at all times.

On the Ogoni Clean Up, the YEAC’s Director, Fyneface Dumnamene “called on Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP), contractors handling the Ogoni cleanup exercise and water projects to speed-up the processes, ensure that the best technology, global best practices and standards are adopted in performing their statutory duties in the area. This he said “would fast-track the restoration of the Ogoni environment in a timely manner for the traditional livelihoods of the people including faming and fishing activities destroyed by decades of crude oil pollution to thrive again”.

Fyneface further called on HYPREP to use the $10million budgeted in the UNEP Report on Ogoni (2011) as stated on Table 53, page 227 and serial number 10 of the Report which is currently in HYPREP coffer by virtue of the $360million communicated as so far received from Joint Venture (JV) partners to prepare and provide “Alternative Employment to those in Artisanal Refining” to prevent re-pollution during and after the cleanup”.

He submitted that “Some of the ways of providing the alternatives would include youth training for skilled participation in the Cleanup project and processes; preparing artisanal refiners in Ogoni communities for Modular Refineries; skills development and acquisition for employability in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 Project and educational scholarships within and outside the country among others”.

With the Earth like human life that has no duplicate, the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre believes that “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature” should be the hallmark of our daily lives. Thus, he called on residents of the state, Niger Delta and the country at large especially youths involved in artisanal refining activities to stop, embrace modular refineries, renewable energy, other alternative livelihood opportunities and channel their energy towards efforts that contribute to both local and global environmental sustainability actions for the sake of this “Only One Earth” that we have as humans.


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