World Ocean Day: Organisation advocates unified efforts to preserve water bodies
An environmental rights focused organisation, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has called for concerted efforts by stakeholders to conserve and preserve water bodies and their biodiversity.
The call was contained in a statement by the Director of HOMEF, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, which was issued on Wednesday in Yenagoa, by Miss Kome Odhomor, its Lead to commemorate the 2022 World Ocean Day.
Bassey said that polluting the ocean was a direct threat to humanity and there should be intensified and collective actions to conserve and preserve the oceans.
“We cannot talk about collective actions without first defining what the problems are, and who are responsible for the problems.
“It is crystal clear that industrial fishing, offshore exploration and exploitation, dumping of waste offshore and similar activities are the major drivers of pollutions and aquatic ecosystems destruction.
“We can only thrive when our oceans thrive. Polluting the ocean is a direct threat to humanity and polluters must not be allowed to divest without first accounting for their environmental sins,’’ he said.
He stated that as the world marked the 2022 world ocean day with the theme, “Revitalisation: Collective Action for the Ocean,” it was necessary for citizens to have sober reflections on the state of oceans, seas, rivers and creeks.
“It is particularly important that individuals and local communities who have lived in harmony with these water bodies be recognised, supported, and learned from.
“Today we mark the World Ocean Day from the banks of the river at Ogulagha community, Delta State, Nigeria.
“It is a day for dialogue with fishers and community people whose connection with the ocean, rivers, and creeks around them goes beyond livelihoods,’’ he added.
The director of HOMEF said that the degraded condition of the community was a sad commentary on the despoliation of the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea by oil exploration and exploitation.
“Like many other extractive communities of the Niger Delta, Ogulagha community is incessantly impacted by oil spills and waste dumps that threaten not only the aquatic ecosystem but also the survival of the people,’’ Bassey added.