‘Ogoni people still drink polluted water six years after UNEP report’

PHOTO: wateraid.org

A group, the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has alleged that some communities in Ogoni were drinking polluted water.

The group’s Head of Environment and Conservation, Dr. Kabari Sam lamented that this was in operation six years after the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report on Ogoniland.

According to him, the recommendation for the provision of alternative sources of potable water for Nsisioken community and others was yet to be met.

According to him, the suggested clean-up of the Ogoni environment, which includes an investigation of its various sites to ascertain the status of the situation was yet to be carried out.

The rights group urged the government and the citizens to use the World Environment Day, “Connect People to Nature,” to reflect on it.

He added that this was necessary to prevent a further loss of biodiversity and critical habitats and restore degraded ecosystems and redeemable species.

Kabari stressed that intense environmental restoration was also crucial in the Niger Delta region, which had suffered over five decades of oil spills.

He said the plight of these neglected communities who drink ground water contaminated with benzene had been compounded by constant delimiting practices such as artisanal refining, obnoxious fishing practices, unregulated dredging, land reclamation and unplanned development.

He said it was important to implement the UNEP report to incorporate new spill sites, to determine the accurate status of the contaminated sites due to the dynamic nature of the environment.

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