Bayelsa State government has called relevant organizations to rise to the challenge of protecting the environment from issues of oil spills which has affected coastal communities in the state and has also destroyed aquatic lives.
The State’s commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson made the call when he received executive members of the state chapter of the Nigerian Environmental Society.
Iworiso-Markson expressed the willingness of the government to partner groups that will be at the forefront of agitating for a safer environment for all.
This as he noted the concern of Governor Seriake Dickson over the activities of multinational companies, especially in the area of oil exploration.
He assured that as part of efforts at protecting the environment from further degradation and confronting the climate change, the government in conjunction with the Nigerian Environmental Society will increase its advocacy to ensure that stakeholders become more aware of their various responsibilities.
‘’We need professional bodies like yours to be in the forefront of championing this issue of environmental degradation. It is when responsible bodies like yours with the support of government come out strongly against it that we will get the needed attention.
“For us as a government we are willing to partner with you to sensitize our people and draw the attention of the oil companies to the pollution they have done to our environment and seek ways to address it” he added.
Iworiso-Markson insisted that the Bayelsa environment has been repeatedly reaped and vandalized in the last fifty years due to incessant oil spillage which has polluted the water and poisoned the land.
He said the direct consequence of environment decay is that farmers and fishermen could not make ends meet and are exposed to life threatening diseases.
The commissioner also assured the group that as experts the government will include them in panels and committees relating to the environment, so they could make useful inputs for the overall good of the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Bayelsa Chapter of the Nigeria Environmental Society, Dr. Oyibo Charles commended Iworiso-Markson for the professional way he has handle the responsibilities of his office since his appointment as Commissioner for Information and Orientation.
Oyibo appealed for closer working relationship with the state ministry of Information in order to bring the issues of public interest pertaining to environment to the front burner of National discourse.
He explained that the Bayelsa Ecosystem deserved urgent attention and insisted that only collaborative efforts among relevant stakeholders would save the environment.