A community chief in Ibaka in Rivers, Mr Mark Bome, on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government to end gas-flaring in oil producing communities, saying such measure would prevent the outbreak of certain ailments currently prevalent in the Niger Delta region.
Bome made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Okrika, Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers.
He said the environment in the oil producing communities was polluted as a result of the flaring of gas.
“We have an unending flaring of gas not only here. If you go to our creeks where we have most of the oil wells, gas-flaring is the order of the day.”
According to him, the pollution has contaminated the air in the communities thus making the air being breathed harmful to health.
“We are majority a fishing community but for now, we cannot fish very well. And our creeks have no fish too. We are the most affected people, especially we, the Okrikas.
“We are talking about the gas flaring, we are talking of the crude that spill every day; if you go down to the jetty side, you will not see water but coloured liquid; that is the crude.
“We suffer from the air we breathe; we suffer from the water we drink and so, we are the most dangerously affected community.
”Bome urged the government to visit Okrika community for on the spot assessment of the devastation in the area, adding: “It is not a question of paper work”.
He enjoined the government to compel the oil companies operating in the area to stop the flaring of gas or at least to ensure a drastic reduction in the volume of gas being flared to save the communities.
According to him, no amount of fine can make up for the loss of human lives to avoidable diseases resulting from gas flaring. (NAN)