Environment Protection

Foreign Oil Firms Inflict Environmental Disaster on Akwa Ibom Communities

Residents of Okoro-Utip, a community in Akwa Ibom, are grappling with the enduring consequences of oil exploration and spills, primarily attributed to the activities of Exxon Mobil. The detrimental effects of oil spills and gas flares have severely impacted both terrestrial and aquatic agriculture, leading to a decline in yields during harvest seasons.

Despite efforts to cultivate crops such as cassava, farmers like Pastor AbasiUbong John and Rhoda Peters have faced significant challenges, including poor soil quality due to oil contamination, resulting in food scarcity and inflated prices of available food items.

Chief Philip Atanwa, Chairman of Okoro-Utip village council, highlights the stark contrast between the community’s past agricultural prosperity and its current state, attributing the decline to the activities of oil companies in the region. However, there is a glimmer of hope as the community has received training on Agroecology from the Health Of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF). This training aims to equip residents with the knowledge and skills needed to restore the mangrove ecosystem and improve agricultural practices sustainably.

Stephen Oduware, Programme Manager of Fossil Politics at HOMEF, emphasizes the importance of restoring the mangrove ecosystem to combat pollution and erosion caused by both industrial activities and local practices. Through practical training sessions, residents are learning to produce organic fertilizers and pesticides using locally available resources, with a focus on replacing invasive species with native mangroves.

The goal is for the community to develop a comprehensive restoration plan to revitalize their environment, farmlands, and depleted mangrove forests, ultimately fostering resilience against environmental degradation.

IMAGE; DailyPost

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