Children campaign against fossil fuel, demands renewal energy in Rivers

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

Pupils and students from three different schools yesterday stormed the street of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, demanding the encouragement of renewal energy for better climate of the state and Nigeria at large.

The children in their placards captioned, “Save the planet, leave the oil in the ground’, ‘Fossil free Nigeria: yes we can’, ‘with oil, the future is dark. Leave it in the ground’, ‘Fossil oil, fatal future”, and other inscriptions marched from their children parliament climate change centre at Young Women’s Christian Association Groups of School in Port Harcourt Township to the Rivers State House of Assembly on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt.

The children urged the State government to give 100% support to the transition of renewable energy.
That the state government should encourage the use of renewable energy systems to provide energy for its offices and establishment this will reduce cost and discourage the use of fossil fuel powered generators.

Also, that policies should be made against tobacco smoking in public places and vehicles with heavy fumes emissions should be fined or put-off from the roads.

They further demanded that fossil fuels and coal should be left in the ground where it belongs and agricultural development be encouraged to driving the economy.

Nine year old Silver Moses, pupil of Day Spring Destiny and Star Academic, who spoke with The AUTHORITY during their peaceful to the state Assembly, narrated that her young brother was a victim of the soot as a result of bunkery activities in the state.

She narrated: “Two weeks ago, my younger brother had several rashes on his body, my parent took him to the clinic, the doctor advised that he should not be exposed to the sun and he should be using electrical fan when sleeping. The doctor told my parent that the result of the rashes was because of climate change.

“This is to tell you that climate change is real, therefore our fathers, mother, brothers, sisters, government and everyone to leave the coal in the hole and oil in the soil.”

She minor called on the government “to take action and stop these companies that are responsible for the health problems we are suffering, companies that go out for profit making without thinking about the health of human being. We the children have decided to walk in the street of Port Harcourt on climate change”.

On her part, Divine Onyemechi, 11 years old with the Young Women’s Christian Association Groups of School said “In my own understanding, the best solution to the ending of climate change can be follows; the government should be able to make the patrol which vehicles use more refined and they should be able to make electric cars or cars that uses solar energies, so that the carbon fossils that are coming out of their exhaust pipe will not be harmful to the lives in the environment”.

Also, Salvation Deebara, 13 years old noted that “The main cause of climate change is mostly from the activities of human beings. The possible solution to this issue is that the government should see to it that there should be planting of trees to form forest. This is because if there are trees it helps to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere”.

He added “As individuals, we should see to it that we do not disperse any useless things carelessly in order to help our climate”.

Earlier, the convener of the programme and founder of Lekel Development Foundation (LDF), Friday Barilule Nbani, disclosed that the children Parliament on climate change and walk for climate change in Port Harcourt was in commemoration to the Afrika Vuka Day 2019 celebration

Nbani disclosed this year theme as “Children action parliament on climate change” , stressing that the group decided to “use the Afrika Vuka to amplify the voice of the children in promoting and demanding for climate change in Rivers and Nigeria at large”.

He said “Even if government gives a deaf ear to the issues of black soot from activities of bunkeries in the state, we as organizations, especially from the civil society groups, we must stand up today and rise against all sources of climate change in the society”.

Nbani advised that “The public should no longer remain silent, they should report activities and causes climate change to the right authority and also report to medical doctors when they notice the effect on them”.

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