Edo Community Laments Adverse Effect Of Gas Flaring

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Edo Community Laments Adverse Effect Of Gas Flaring - Ijaw News

Residents of Gelegele, an oil-rich community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State has lamented continuous pollution from activities of oil company in the area.

Indigenes of Gelegele lamented the adverse effects of gas flaring on the community during a capacity building workshop organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)

Gelegele community is ravaged by unending gas flaring, belching right in the heart of the community with flow stations close to residential buildings. The community has been living with the sad realities of air and environmental pollution amidst other resultant socio-economic and livelihood stress.

Meanwhile, participants at the workshop shared ideas on the basics of accountability over  resource exploitation by both government and companies operating in their community.

During the training, resource persons charged community  members to be vigilant to note and report on happenings in their  environment.

Community members enumerated ecological problems and livelihood challenges they face related to a giant gas flare near their homes. They lamented over the impact of gas flaring which has led to heat waves, widespread health problems and has affected fishing which is their  predominant occupation.

An environmentalist, Mr Morris Alagoa during the training tasked community members to identify and work on the problems they faced. 

According to him, “After identifying your challenges with gas flaring and oil exploitation, it is time to take action. Once you agree to act as a community everyone must ensure to comply and work in the best interest of the community”.

He insisted the need for people to adhere to collective decision if their actions is to have desired  impact. 

He added, “If you see something wrong, be ready to say it out and not be silent over it.  Team up with bodies and organization that fight against injustices. If you speak up, people will come together to fight with you against such injustice”.

He further stressed that everyone has a role to play in the interest of ensuring sustainability of our environment.

HOMEF’s facilitators urged members of the community to put what they had learned into practice to achieve the expected results and secure their goals and objectives.  

The training aimed to equip community with tools for building solidarity and to elevate solutions to their environmental and livelihood challenges.

Earlier in his welcome address, Prince Babs Pawuru of Host Communities Network (HoCoN) expressed gladness over the timely training and urged the community members to be ready to join in the struggle to end exploitations that do not yield positive benefits in the land 

“I am happy we have this gathering today. This meeting will help the youths and other community members to know how to demand accountability from  corporations that engage in harmful activities. Together we can also hold the government responsible. To start with, we have to stand together and demand the immediate ending of  gas flaring in Gelegele.”

The workshop facilitated by HOMEF discussed the environmental, socio-economic and livelihood issues resulting from the activities of oil and gas operations in the community, identified the needed restorative actions and trained them on advocacy using a specially developed advocacy toolkit for community activists.

The workshop also offered community people opportunity for simulative role playing whereby community people plays roles of government, corporations, and community. This offered the people opportunity to examine the burden of negative impacts of oil and gas activities created by corporations as well as what government and communities should do.

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