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Oil Pollution: Stop Consuming Sea Food, Experts Warn Ogonis

Oil spill and environmental experts from Canada, yesterday, called on Ogoni residents who have no alternative to relocate from their affected oil spill locality to stop consuming sea food and contaminated water from the river.
The environmental activists made the call during awareness programme on Environmental Remediation, Clean-up Technologies and Safety Training organised by Nesdumo Worldwide Solutions Limited.
The programme, which attracted youth from Ogoni communities in the four local government areas of Tai, Khana, Gokana and Eleme, took place at First Eleme Millennium Hotel, Rivers State.
Speaking at the training event, an oil spill expert from Canada, Lawrence Neufeld, said the best way to avoid critical future health challenge is to cut off from the water source and stop consumption of sea food.
He acknowledged that there was usually oil spill in any oil producing area, including Canada, but added that there was need for emergency remedy even as the Federal Government has showed political will to implement the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme |(UNEP) report.
Neufeld said: “You must be trained to understand your environment, but some of the community members are at risk. Because even as survey has showed that the environments they are living in are polluted, yet they still live there.
“The government of Nigeria should help them out; they are poor. So, they continue searching for food in the river and drinking contaminated water. If they are healthy today, the future of their children is at risk. They should stop eating sea food,” he noted.
One of the speakers, Dr. Babatunde Bernard Bolaji, who advocated for the need to provide potable clean water and health facilities to the affected rural communities, emphasised that the training was to expose Ogoni youth to the technicalities involved in the clean-up process.
He also said the locals from the spill affected areas will be massively engaged in the process, while encouraging them to make good use of the opportunity for the sole purpose and not for money making.
Bolaji said: “It is a sensitization programme for the forthcoming spill clean-up in Ogoni land. The programme is tailored towards sensitizing the youth and preparing their mind so that they can be involved technically and professionally when the process starts.
“This is a professional exercise and the training is scientific. It is time to remove politics and face the clean-up squarely.”
On the health of those still drinking contaminated water, Bolaji said, “Benzene is a carcinogen, that means it can cause cancer, if they are inhaling benzene or drinking the water. It has the capacity to cause all kinds of cancer.
“The carcinogens are mutagen. Being a mutagen means, it can interact with the genetic makeup of a person. So, during that time, it means it can change the genetic composition of a person.
“So, if it removes the genetic material that is responsible for forming your arm, then it means you will be born without an arm. If it affects the one responsible for your nose, then it means you will be born without a nose,” he explained.

:::…The Tide News Online:::…

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