Niger Delta coastal communities, cities may be submerged’
The Niger Delta coastal communities and adjoining cities are at the risk of being completely submerged in the near future as water bodies rise precariously due to dramatic climatic changes, experts have warned.
Climate experts, scientists, engineers and biologists who spoke at Egbokodo near Warri, Delta state, during the Earth Day awareness lectures, also warned that gas flaring and the huge carbon waste from oil exploration activities are a threat to marine and human lives and the environment in the region.
They observed that due to high levels of pollution in the Niger Delta fishes and other edible marine animals consumed by humans were now contaminated with high levels of iron and other harmful compounds.
The lecture was organized by the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND) and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources’ sustainable development initiative.
A chemical analyst and guest speaker, Niyi Jones Akinyugha, said the rivers and lakes supply drinking water for humans, animals, farming and industry are stressed from drainage, dredging, damming, pollution, extraction, silting and invasive species and that climate changes will make the stresses on Rivers and lakes worse and might cause migration of people and conflict.
For solution, he suggested restoration of natural buffers such as sand dunes and wetlands, improving storm drainage system and building protective barriers where easily applicable.
That the coastal wetlands which protect the shoreline from flooding and providing habitats for plants and animals could be damaged.
Other experts, including Dr. Doris Ogeleka and Nina Ani advocated the principles of the three “Rs” – reducing, recycling, and reusing as well as converting waste to energy, reducing pollution and conserving resources and energy amongst others.