By Pumokumo Tiemo
Initiative For Rural Communities’ Development, Niger Delta, a leading organization dedicated to the sustainable development of rural communities, has urgently appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria, Delta State Government, Warri North Local Government Area, international organizations/community, and oil and gas companies to extend their assistance to the Polobubo/OPUAMA communities in Egbema Kingdom, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State. The community is currently grappling with a devastating flood crisis caused by extreme rainfall and seawater incursion, primarily resulting from decades of oil exploration activities.
The Polobubo/OPUAMA communities have long been integral to the economic sustenance and development of both Nigeria and Delta State. Hosting major International Oil Producing Companies (IOCs) and national oil and gas companies, including Chevron Nigeria Ltd, Nigeria Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL), Conoil Producing Ltd, and Sahara Energy Services Limited. This area plays a crucial role in the supply of energy resources globally. However, the consequences of prolonged oil exploration have now manifested themselves in the form of severe flooding and seawater incursion, posing a substantial threat to the communities’ well-being.
Given the above, Initiative For Rural Communities’ Development, Niger Delta humbly advocates for the following actions:
- That the Federal Government of Nigeria should recognize the gravity of the situation and declare a national emergency in the Polobubo/OPUAMA communities. Such a declaration would enable the allocation of necessary resources and the coordination of efforts to respond promptly to the immediate and long-term needs of the affected residents.
- That the Delta State Government should collaborate with relevant agencies and organizations to provide essential relief materials, medical assistance, and infrastructure rehabilitation to alleviate the suffering of the community members in crisis.
- That the Warri North Local Government Area should leverage on its resources and work in close partnership with the community and other stakeholders to urgently enhance relief efforts and facilitate the rehabilitation process.
- That the International Organizations/Community, specializing in environmental and humanitarian issues, to lend their support and expertise in addressing this pressing crisis. Their involvement is vital in assessing the environmental impact and implementing sustainable solutions to mitigate future occurrences.
- The Oil and Gas Companies, the key contributors to the environmental challenges faced by the Polobubo/OPUAMA communities, should ensure active participation and corporate social responsibility from the oil and gas companies operating in the area. We urge them to prioritize the needs of the community, join in the relief efforts, and actively engage in long-term rehabilitation projects to restore the well-being of the community and the ecosystem.
We emphasize the urgent need for immediate collective action to prevent further loss of lives and mitigate environmental damages caused by the devastating flood crisis. By responding promptly and effectively, w e can demonstrate our commitment to preserving lives and fostering sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.
Initiative For Rural Communities Development, Niger Delta is dedicated to supporting the Polobubo/OPUAMA communities during this challenging time and will work tirelessly to muster the necessary assistance and resources to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation.
Pumokumo. B.E Tiemo
Initiative For Rural Communities Development, Niger Delta