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NEWS UPDATE: Gas flaring: Gelegele community decries pollution of rivers, farm lands

NEWS UPDATE: Gas flaring: Gelegele community decries pollution of rivers, farm lands

For decades, activities of oil exploration companies have resulted in devastating impacts for host communities; causing harm to arable lands, resulting in adverse environmental consequences including pollution of rivers, devastation of aquatic life, poor agricultural output and inability to access the waters for fishing.

Gelegele community in Ovia Northward-East Local Authorities area of Edo Province is one of those places where the impacts of oil pollution have go a threat to life and livelihood.

Indigenes of the community say the negative outcome of gas flaring and pollution in their terra firma have resulted in heatwaves, widespread wellness problems and affected fishing which is a predominant line of work for natives.

Community members lamented that profits from oil and gas exploration have blinded extractive companies to the harm their activities are causing to the terra firma and its people.

A native of Gelegele, Babs Pawuru who said the terra firma is endowed with many natural resources including solid minerals as good as oil and gas, claimed the community has been ravaged by unending gas flaring, belching right in the ticker of the terra firma with flow stations situated shut to residential buildings.

Pawuru, who is also the President of Host Communities Network, said the community has been living with the sad realities of air and environmental pollution amid other socio-economic and livelihood issues.

‘‘This gas flaring is poor; the intensity of the flame is so much that you cannot fifty-fifty rest near the community. It generates so much heat that people cannot slumber. Gelegele people are suffering because of the actions of oil companies and the negligence of policymakers.

‘‘Whether you go around the community, many indigenes are sick from all way of diseases, the wellness of the people has been impacted negatively. Fifty-fifty the route leading to Gelegele is so poor that you will demand to take panadol when you acquire home, yet they are extracting natural resources from this community.’’

He lamented that the economical status of the community has also been impacted negatively, stressing that fishermen toil all dark at the river but go home with nil in the forenoon as the pollution in the rivers have killed all the fishes.

A lady fishmonger, who spoke to our reporter in pidgin English narrated her experience thus: ‘’Before at present whether you go river, you go view fish take hold of, but at present whether you go river to view one fish take hold of to feed your household na state of war. This oil na im dey cause all this job, fish don run from our river.“

An ex-youth president of Gelegele community, who did not give his proper name, also decried the effect of gas flaring on infrastructure in the community, saying new houses built in the terra firma have begun to deteriorate because of the heat.

‘This flare affects us on different levels, he said, seem at buildings in the community, the flare has destroyed all of it, when you build a house, in one twelvemonth all the zincs are condemned. There’s no fish in the river or animals in the wood because of the vibration used in gas flaring.

These ecological and health-related problems are just a few of the many that host communities have to deal with a major reason why sustainable environs campaigners are at present teaching communities the basics of survival amid pollution.

Of late, the Health of Female parent globe Foundation, during a capacity building activity, charged community members to be vigilant and study happenings in their environs.

An environmentalist, Morris Alagoa, who spoke to journalists, said he is preparation indigenes to build solidarity and provide solutions to their environmental and livelihood challenges, also tasking them to place and work on the problems they face daily as a termination of the pollution.

“After identifying your challenges with gas flaring and oil exploitation, it is time to take activeness. In one case you concord to human action as a community everyone must ensure to comply and work in the best involvement of the community.”

He warned natives to collectively concord and adhere to decisions taken as a grouping whether their actions are to acquire the desired impact.

“Whether you view something wrong, be ready to say it out loud and not be soundless over it. Squad upwardly with bodies and organizations that fighting against injustices. Whether you speak upwardly people will come up together to fighting with you against such injustice.’’

‘‘Everyone has a role to play in the involvement of ensuring the sustainability of our environs,’’ he advised.

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