Environmental expert decries coastal erosion in Bayelsa community

Yenagoa—An Environmental expert, Barr. Philemon Kelly Dickson has lamented the state of Odioama community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

He said the coastal community is facing an existential threat of extinction as a result of the coastline of the community being washed away by the “violent tidal waves” of the ocean for years.

Dickson in a statement on Friday lamented that the erosion of the community’s land line has left the locales in dire strait, homeless, and in need of urgent help.

“Odioama Kingdom faced with existential threat as a result of the persistent surge of violent tidal waves thrashing down heavily on the Odioama coastline, causing great adverse effects on the environment and untold hardship on the people.

“Approximately more than a thousand metres of valuable land and human habitations on the coastline had been washed away over the years, leaving our people homeless, vulnerable, and are on the verge of total extinction.”

“Odioama is a littoral community in Brass Local Govt. Area of Bayelsa State and its satellite towns and villages are mostly located at the Atlantic Coastline of the Gulf of Guinea.”

He noted that the community is a host to some of the biggest multinational oil companies in the country including SPDC, NAOC, and National Oil and Gas Companies such as AITEO, Brass Fertiliser, and Petrochemical Company (BFPC), inter alia.

He said efforts to get the federal government to help as well as communal efforts to contain the environmental hazard have been largely unsuccessful.

He however called for the declaration of an environmental state of emergency in Odioama and as well the intervention of government at all levels to contain the menace.

He said, “efforts to attract the attention of the Ecological Funds management had been unsuccessful. Also, communal efforts at containing the menace too were unsustainable.

“We are therefore calling on the Federal and State Government to Declare a State of Environmental Emergency on the Odioama Coast so as to proffer an urgent and sustainable solution to the problem.

“The Odioama Coastline Is Indeed Threatened with Extreme Erosion. Let us, therefore, Protect the Coastline Environment for the Present and Future Generations.”

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