Flood: Group Tasks  Rivers on Environment Protection

Flood: Group Tasks  Rivers on Environment Protection

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

An international organisation, Natural Justice, has urged the Rivers State government to ensure the protection of the environment, stressing the need for early intervention to avoid effects of disastrous flood in the state.

The members of group, in their numbers, marched from Isaac Boro Park in Mile One to Government House, Port Harcourt, demanding for environmental protection across the state.

Speaking during the climate justice movement in Port Harcourt, Programme Manager for Natural Justice (Nigeria), Mr. Mike Karikpo, expressed the importance for protection of the environment, saying that “our environment is our life, without the environment we cannot exercise any other right that we have as human beings.”

According to him “We are building a movement of young people, of women, of community, students, the media that we are working together to address the climate crisis from its very root.

“We matched from Isaac Boro Park to government House, to present a petition, both to the governor and to flood response committee.”  

“We have asked that they expand and extend flood response committee.

“Rivers State government have set up a flood response committee and we are thankful for that. What we want Rivers State government to do with the flood response committee is to ensure that it is inclusive, that persons who are at the forefront of climate impact: women, young people, persons with disabilities, the most vulnerable in our communities, should be part of the committee.

“We are here to make sure that our voices are heard, because the only way we can accelerate any action is to come together, to work together, stand together and to demand that our government do what is good and what is right.”

Karikpo noted that the world is presently dependent on fossil fuel and which outcome has increased the challenges of climate change.

He said:”All over the world we have climate disasters taking place, yet the world is unwilling to let go-off of fossil fuel; including crude oil, gas and coal.

“Is our life that is at stake right now, we have to force our government to start thinking of life beyond oil, of life beyond fossil fuel. Nigeria, Rivers State have been very lucky, nature has bestowed upon us minerals, so we have gas, crude oil that we can export it, and we say no, we are the Treasure Base of nation.”

He advised that the government should encourage the brain economy rather than the continue engagement in an oil based economy.

“For the society that is coming, is a the society that will require what we have up in our brains. How do we think about the solution that will deal with the issues we face as a people.

“Secondly, we are asking that the flood response committee, which is an intermediary committee, should be changed and turned into Climate Justice Adversary Committee that will advise the state government on how to transit from an oil based economy, from a fossil fuel economy to an economy that depends on our brains on what we have here. An economy that is sustainable, that protects the environment, protects our lives and protects earth,” Karikpo added.

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