Advocacy Centre organises Workshop for Artisanal Refiners in Rivers State
On Friday, March 29, 2019, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), the facilitator of Platform for the Coordination of Niger Delta Ex-Artisanal Refiners Forum organized a 1-day sensitization workshop on artisanal oil refining in Rivers State. The workshop which was also used for the presentation of pilot findings on livelihoods in Bayelsa state held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with funding support from Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN).
The 1-day workshop which engaged both key artisanal refiners and ex-refiners was aimed at promoting more sustainable economic alternatives beyond the illegal trade in stolen and refined crude in the Niger Delta region through the proposal of rice and fish farming for the youths.
The workshop had over 30 core oil artisanal refiners including women who have been involved in acts of buy and selling the illegally refined projects drawn from Okrika, Ogu/Bolo, Ogoni, Bille and Mbiama areas of Rivers State in attendance. Other important dignitaries and resource persons present include the Country Director of Stakeholder Democracy Network, Dr. Christopher Onosode, Prof. Roseline Konya, Hon. Commissioner for environment, rivers state and the workshop consultants and facilitator of platform for the coordination of Niger delta ex-artisanal refiners forum, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface among others.
The workshop x-rayed government approaches and strategies on artisanal reining, factors that sustained practice of artisanal refining, status of artisanal refiners in Rivers State, etc.
Speaking at the workshop, the Rivers State Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya called on the artisanal refiners to desist from the act of oil theft and artisanal refining which contributes to environmental pollution, black soot and negatively impacts on their health which government is concerned about. She expressed worry over the indiscriminate burning of takers and vessels confiscated by security operatives for alleged conveyance of stolen products and degrading the environment.
Participants were presented with certificates of participation at the end of the workshop.