WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020: ADVOCACY CENTRE CALLS ON RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE SAFE PIPE-BORNE WATER FOR RIVERS PEOPLE USING THE WORLD BANK LOAN AS PROMISED
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) joins all Nigerians and the rest of the peoples of the world who are lovers of nature and the environment to celebrate this year’s World Environment Day with the theme “TIME FOR NATURE” with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development.
Considering the importance of this year’s theme, it is time for us to give more attention to nature and the role it plays in the provision of essential infrastructure that supports life such as the water we drink, food we eat, air we breathe as well as our climate by not engaging in acts that jeopardize nature and the Earth that supports our lives.
In Rivers State, ADVOCACY CENTRE calls on the Government to give more attention to environmental issues by immediately commencing the recruitment of the Environmental Marshalls promised. There is also need for the Rivers State Government to provide safe pipe-borne water for Rivers people to enable them have access to clean water for domestic use and running water to wash their hands regularly as recommended by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as preventive measure against contracting Corona Virus Diseases especially now that COVID-19 cases are increasing in Rivers State.
ADVOCACY CENTRE recalls that Governor Nyesom Wike in paragraphs 87, 88 and 89 of his 2020 budget speech promised to provide water for Rivers People to cover over two million residents of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas including those in rural communities under “The Urban Water Sector Reform and Port Harcourt Water and Sanitation Project”. ADVOCACY CENTRE also recalls that Rivers State Government accessed $80million loan from World Bank and another $200million loan from the African Development Bank which were effective in 2014 for this Water project and it is worrisome that till date, Rivers People are yet to have portable drinking water since after the loans were accessed.
ADVOCACY CENTRE uses this World Environment Day 2020 to reiterate its call for Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to provide clean running water for the Ogoni people as recommended by UNEP report since 2011. Both the Rivers State government and HYPREP should note that water is an essential infrastructure that supports life as the theme of this year’s World Environment Day has noted.
ADVOCACY CENTRE further calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to give attention to erosion issues as impact of climate change in the South-East and other parts of Nigeria. It is important that as we care for ourselves especially this period of COVID-19 that we should also care for nature and our environment which supports our lives.
ADVOCACY CENTRE wishes everyone happy 2020 World Environment Day.
FYNEFACE DUMNAMENE FYNEFACE,
Environmental Justice Activist, Human Rights Defender and
Executive Director, ADVOCACY CENTRE.