Environmental pollution: Akwa Ibom oil community rues poor yield, dwindling fortunes

Residents of Okoro-Utip, an Akwa Ibom community have continued to agonize over the endless devastating effect of oil exploration in the area.

“Our lands have been taken away due to erosion and we have hope of reclaiming it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the community may heave a sigh of relief in no distant time following the training it received from an ecological think tank organisation, Health Of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, on Agroecology and Mangrove restoration.

The Programme Manager, Fossil Politics in HOMEF, Stephen Oduware, speaking with our correspondent, noted that the community had lost its mangrove ecosystem on account of pollution and felling of trees by the locals, adding that the organisation was working towards how to restore it.

He said to achieve that, HOMEF resolved to train the highly impacted community on agroecology and mangrove restoration by showing them how to produce organic fertiliser and pesticides using cow dung, cow urine, bananas, cowpeas, soil, water, garlic and other ingredients found around them.

“Here we are having a practical training session on how they can restore these mangrove using the pods and seeds of these mangrove and we have the issue of the evasive specie of Nipa palm that is foreign to us.

“Communities should start looking at ways of removing these evasive species that are not native and start replacing it with mangroves which support farming, support the community against dangerous storms from the sea and support fishery.”

He, however, expressed optimism that at the end of the training, the community would come up with a restoration plan to highlight how they would use the knowledge gained from the meeting to restore their environment, their farmlands and restore the depleted mangrove forest.

The resource person, Iwan-Aondover Barnabas explained that the mixture (organic manure) when applied in the soil would add value and rejuvenate all the poor lands that were no longer productive in the area.

He said, “what our farmers lack is knowledge for production, how to engage in practices that would increase their production, now they know they can produce their fertilisers and pesticides with things around them.

“This will save them the cost of buying chemical fertiliser and will add more value to the forest system they have.

“It will also rejuvenate all the poor lands that are no longer productive and this will add value to the land.”

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