Abuja - The Bayelsa State Government has advocated for stringent environmental laws for the protection and preservation of the environment from oil exploration and exploitation activities in the Niger Delta.
Governor Seriake Dickson made the call when members of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), led by its Chairman, Major Lancelot Anyanya, visited Government House in Yenagoa.
The Governor proposed that the Federal Government should build receptacles to evacuate crude oil recovered from illegal refineries as well as design mechanisms for effective and proper remediation of impacted areas.
“I have said it before that what has been going on in Bayelsa State, the Niger Delta and in all oil producing areas concerning the levity with which oil companies treat the issues of the environment and the maintenance of environmental and health standards,” he said.
“When you look at all of these and particularly listening to your chilly statistics, which I believe is only a tip of the iceberg, one is really left with no other conclusion than that, we are actually facing a case of environmental terrorism. What has been going on in the Niger Delta since the discovery of oil; a situation where more than one spill takes place in Bayelsa everyday, going by what your statistics is telling us and all these sites are treated with reckless abandon and the environment is left to fend for itself, the livelihood and in fact the lives of the people and the ecosystem are not attended to. What then is more of terrorist action than this?” quipped Dickson.
He called for government and stakeholders to thus increase efforts to protect the environment.
The Governor described Bayelsa State as the most fragile and highly compromised area, where environmental pollution has devastated the ecosystem for several decades since the discovery of crude oil in 1956.
Dickson explained that the health implications arising from such environmental pollution necessitated the establishment of the toxicology institute to better appreciate the magnitude of the problems facing the people.
Anyanya commended the state government for initiating a baseline study on the toxicological impact of oil exploration on the Bayelsa environment and called for support, especially in the area of developing effective institutional framework, for enforcement of appropriate legislation.
– CAJ News
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