Residents of Eleme communities in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State have raised the alarm over the incessant pollution of the air they breathe by the activities of companies operating in their area.
They lamented that chemical companies such as petrochemical and fertiliser companies operating within their environment in addition to gas flaring from petroleum refinery have continued to pump poisonous gas into the air which people breathe for survival.
The alarm was raised during a sensitisation Summit on Environmental, Social and Human Rights Impacts of oil pollution organised in the area by a non-governmental organisation, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) in collaboration with Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID).
Participants at the summit who were drawn from different communities in Eleme LGA lamented the air pollution, coupled with the pollution of their lands and water sources by oil operations which they said have turned their communities into an environmentally dangerous place to live in.
They noted that although there are environmental laws and regulations to regulate the impacts of the activities of the companies on the environment, the government have failed woefully in the area of the enforcement of such laws and regulations.
The communities urged the federal government to expedite actions towards the planned clean-up programme and to take urgent steps to regulate air pollution in Eleme.
The CEHRD’s Project Officer, Mrs Rukevwe Siakpere-Ekine who facilitated the summit, commended the communities for articulating their concerns and for their fruitful contributions during the meeting.