By Chimezie Godfrey
#TrackNigeria- The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani has said that if the environmental pollution in Ogoni and its environs are not tackled 10 years from now it might result to the birth of mutilated children.
Newsdiaryonline reports that he made this shocking revelation Thursday at Port-Harcourt at the 2019 NAWOJ week celebration with the theme: “Clean The Niger Delta,Save Our Women”
Rafsanjani decried the fact that one single drop of oil is yet to be cleaned since 2016 when the flag-off happened, and 50 years after the first spill occurred in Ogoni.
He said” “It is not a critic of the process, but a serious sphere of concern around how women have lost their lives on a daily basis owing to the additional daily dosage of contaminants consumed in water, air, and the rest. And yet there is no respite in the commencement of the emergency measures.
“Cancer villages are building up in Ogoni and its environs and 10 years from now, we might begin to have mutilated children due to the irresponsibility of those in the Political class.”
He disclosed that an average of 240,000 barrels of crude oil is spilled in the Niger Delta every year until recently.
He added that spills contaminated the surface water, ground, water, ambient air, and crops with hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and benxo (a) Pyrene, naturally occurring & radioactive materials, and trace metals that were further bio-accumulated in some food crops.
He further said that these spills has led to a 60% reduction in household food security and reduced the ascorbic acid content of vegetables by as much as 36% and the crude protein content of cassava by 40%.
“”These could result in a 24% increase in prevalence of childhood malnutrition.
“Animal studies indicate that contact with Nigerian crude oil could be hemotoxic and hepatotoxic, and could cause infertility and cancer.
“Evidence continues to accumulate suggesting that environmental exposures adversely impact human reproductive function,” he said.
The Human Right Activist said that Occupation Pulmonary diseases such as asbestosis or silicosis can also adversely affect reproduction health.
He expressed disappointment and fear that this is the kind of environment that the women in Delta are exposed to, adding that their offence for this is because of proximity to oil facilities and infrastructure.
Rafsanjani stressed that the way forward in tacking the menace of environmental Pollution in the Niger Delta is through environmental governance.
He said: “It is only through environmental governance laws, policies and procedures that will be implemented to achieve a healthy and sustainable environment in the Niger Delta.
“It is through good environmental governance that we will be able to eliminate conflict and environment entrepreneurs who feed on the crises in the Niger Delta.”