Rotary Club campaign for Environmental Justice

From Douglas Blessing, Port Harcourt

R-L: Former Acting MD of NDDC, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, an activist, Comrade Celestine Akpobari and Rtn Emem Okon, at the installation ceremony of Rtn Emem, as the Charter President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, held in Port Harcourt, recently.

The Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco has kick-started campaign for environmental justice, with aim to promote environmental conservation, ecosystem restoration as well as climate change mitigation.

The International group made this known during the installation ceremony of Rtn Emem Okon, as the Charter President, held in Port Harcourt, recently.

In her speech, Emem Okon, Charter President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, stated that the group is focusing on protecting the environment, saying that Rotary envisions a Rivers State free of soot.

She also stated that the group seeks to contribute to addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta environment in line with Rotary International focus.

Speaking on ways to restore back the environment, Emem said Port Harcourt Eco of the club aim to plant not less than 50, 000 mangrove trees by the end of this year, to enhance the ecosystem, contributing to better environment.

She said: “Our concern is to focus on our environment and we just unveiled the campaign against black soot and we have started save the mangrove campaign and we targeting to plant 50,000 mangrove trees by June 2022 when this Rotary year will end.

“We are also carrying out tree planting. All these are necessary because all these are also important in absorbing carbon from the air and also in restoration of the Eco system. 

“The environmental crisis aggravates issues including health, housing, sanitation, food insecurity, poverty, inequality, lack of access to clean water among other challenges. 

“So, there got to be awareness creation which we have got to do, through conferences, policy dialogue and engagement with environmental justice groups. All these will contribute to taking action to restore the environment”, Emem stated.

Also speaking at the event, the Public Image Director of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, Fyneface Dumnamene called for collaboration on advocacy on black soot, noting that “the substance is a killer that needs to be killed if we must live”. 

He called on the Governor of Rivers State, Barr Nyesom Wike to appointment a new Commissioner for Environment for the State to serve as a gateway for collaboration with the State government on environmental advocacy including soot.

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