Expert attributes Bayelsa landslide to climate change, oil exploration

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YENOGOA –  An environmentalist, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, has said that last
Saturday’s landslide incident in Okolobo community in the Kolokuma/Opokumo
Local Government Area of Bayelsa was the effect of climate change.

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The landslide destroyed more than eight houses along a river bank and
rendered several families homeless.

Bassey, who is the Executive Director of Environmental Rights
Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), made the observation in an
interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

According to him, ERA/FoEN field findings showed that recurring landslide
incidents are  induced by human activities.

He said that the fragile Niger Delta ecosystem which had been exposed to
serious pressure by the climate change phenomenon was further worsened by
oil exploration activities.

“Unprotected coastlines in the Niger Delta are challenged by climate
change, rising sea levels and movement of oil company vessels and equipment
on the water ways.

“Recurrent landslides and coastal erosion destroy houses and
infrastructure and cost the nation huge sums of money while impoverishing
the already deprived rural populations.

“All tiers of government must share in the blame for this negligence.
Local and state governments as well as the NNDC must secure and protect our
shorelines,’’ Bassey said.

The environmentalist urged the Federal Government to mitigate the growing
threat of climate change by ending gas flaring which, he said “releases
tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere daily’’.

He said that stopping gas flaring, reinforcing the shore lines and
provision of rural infrastructure were the necessary steps to bring relief
to coastal communities in the Niger Delta region. (NAN)

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