From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Hundreds of primary School pupils on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State embarked on road walk against environmental pollution, demanding for climate Justice.
The pupils between the ages of 5 – 12 from St Cyprain Church Nursary and Primary School and Young Women Christian Association Group of School, with their different placards walked from the popular GRA junction to Garrison junction, Port Harcourt calling on the government at all levels to fight against fossil fuel and promote the use of renewable energy.
Executive Director of of Lekeh Development Foundation, Friday Mbane who led the peaceful walk, said the reason for the action was to draw attention of the state government and every residence of the state on the need to stop all activities that causes climate change, especially the pollution of the environment by multinationals.
He stressed that the continue ignorance on the illegal refinery in the state by authorities concern has increased the effect of the pollution on the people.
Mbane said “The environment we live in today has been devastated by human activities and we are embarking on this walk to demand for environmental Justice for the our environment. We want the Government to make laws that will guide the people and stop illegal refineries in Rivers State and Niger Delta region at large”.
Also speaking, Ejit Josiah, environmenttalist with We The People, noted that in recent years Port Harcourt city has suffered envrionmetal pollution from activities of fossil fuel, especially illegal refineries which emit soot, black substance disasterous to health.
“If you live in Port Harcourt for the past two years, the city has been great with soot in recent times. From medical indication, breathing in the soot is devastating the health of this young people (Pupils). It has caused so many health challenges”.
Goodness Donatus, 12 years old student of Young Women Christian Association Group of School stressed that “we want the government to know that we the future of tomorrow are tied of the ongoing pollution in Port Harcourt. Government should stop the fossil fuels system of power generation and encourage renewable energy for a better and healthy environment”.
Favour Best, a teacher with St Cyprain Church Nursary and Primary School, lamented “We are not happy with the climate condition of our environment. Our environment is polluted by those who operates illegal refineries, and it affects our health. The soot from the activities of the oil companies and illegal oil refineries has resulted to the increase in death rate”.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards are; “Lives over Profit, Leave it in the ground” “Fossil free Nigeria, yes we can”, Break free from fossil fuel” “Save the planet, leave the oil in the ground”.