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PPDF Establishes Environmental Clubs, Trains Ikot Abasi Communities on Environmental Monitoring

PPDF Establishes Environmental Clubs, Trains Ikot Abasi Communities on Environmental Monitoring

Imo Etim

Peace Point Development Foundation, PPDF with support from Energy Transition Fund (ETF) , has established two environmental clubs in Ikot Abasi Communities. 

PPDF on Thursday, June 16, 2022 inaugurated newly established environmental club for Opukalama community and Uta Ewa Community in Ikot Abasi local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

The inauguration which took place at Opukalama community also witnessed training for the two community members on Environmental Monitoring and Protection.

Inaugurating the club, the Director, Climate Change, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and Solid Mineral, Mrs. Ini Umoh charged the communities to manage the club as theirs and engage in events that are focused on environmental issues thus increase public awareness about the importance of protecting the environment.

Director Min. of Environment, Mrs. Ini Umoh making presentation.

Training participants on “Environmental Protection, Climate Change/ Mitigation at Community level and available opportunities for linkages with Regulatory Authorities”, Mrs. Umoh charged the communities to be conscious of waste they let into the environment.

She noted that indiscriminate waste disposal and deforestation are ill activities that do not only pollute the environment but cause climate change. 

Umoh called on the communities to engage in environmental friendly activities and report observed environmental misnomer to relevant Non-Governmental Organizations and government agencies.

Mrs. Ini Umoh presenting Climate Change Manual to the Communities.

Also in his presentation on the theme ” The Rules and Regulations of Community Environmental Monitor and Leadership Skills”, Multiple Award Winning Journalist and Environmental Crusader, Ekemini Simon noted that environmental monitoring is a tool need to assess environmental conditions and trends, support policy development and its implementation, and develop information for reporting to national policymakers, international forums and the public.

Multiple Award Winning Journalist, Ekemini Simon making presentation.

Simon said that the rules and regulations imperative for Environmental Monitors are categorized into four namely; Human Rights and Collective Rights, Contract Stipulations ( Global Memorandum of Understanding), Customary Laws and Traditions and Environmental Laws.

He mentioned some of the Environmental laws the Environmental monitors must have on their thumbnails in order to execute their work effectively to include; Section 20, 12, 33 and 34 of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 as amended, National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency ( NESREA) Act 2007, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act 2007 and Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act 2004.

Others are Hydrocarbon Oil Refineries Act 2004, Oil Navigable Water Act 2004, Associated Gas Re-injection Act, 2004, The Endangered Species Act, 2004, Inland Fisheries Act, 2004, Oil Pipelines Act 2004, and Niger Delta Development Commission Act 2004.

While stating that the social, economic and political costs of failing to detect and deal with environmental problems in the early stages can be enormous, the facilitator added “Economically, correcting problems after the environment is seriously degraded adds to the cost. Yet, some degradation may be irreparable: Living resources may be so depleted and habitats so damaged that stocks of commercially and recreationally important species may never return to pre-degradation level.

” Public health problems can arise with attendant economic and social consequences. Public opposition and anger may increase with sudden news that our source of livelihood is no more”.

Simon, who stressed that the Environmental Monitors need to develop leadership skills such as effective communication, decision making and Strategic Management skills said these skills will guide them in taking actions after they may have discovered issues that may not enhance environmental healthiness. 

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Coordinator of Peace Point Development Foundation, PPDF, Mr Umo Isua-ikoh said the training and the environmental club was designed to help the communities work collectively to protect their environment especially against the exploitative and hazardous tendencies peculiar to oil and gas communities.

Coordinator of PPDF, Mr Umo Isua-ikoh making his remarks.

Isua-ikoh pointed out that club members will have multiple opportunities to be actively engaged in environmental activities designed by the communities to reflect their needs.

He noted that with the newly inaugurated environmental club, a total of seven environmental clubs have been established in the oil and gas communities of Akwa Ibom State courtesy of PPDF hence there will be collaborations when the need arises.

Isua-ikoh added “From the date we set this up, please know that it is your project. You have to design your activities, programs and leadership to suit your needs. 

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” Environmental Clubs as this will help your community to work as a team to monitor your environment, organize and participate in environmental awareness events, and in the process, we will assist you to develop valuable leadership skills needed to protect your environment”.

PPDF’s Coordinator assured the communities of linking them with relevant environmental authorities thus opening opportunities for their environmental challenges to be addressed.

In response, the Village Head of Opukalama, Chief Anthony Jaja thanked PPDF for the passionate interest shown in helping them protect their environment.

Represented by his Deputy, Gibson Jaja, the Village Head assured the organization that they will put to action the information they have gotten. 

” The training we have received from PPDF have been unique. Our eyes have been opened and we can tell you that through the environmental club inaugurated, we will work together to change our environment for the better,” the Village Head said.

For the Secretary of Uta Ewa Community, Elder Utitofon Ebong, Uta Ewa community has benefited greatly from the environmental crusade pushed by PPDF.

Secretary of Uta Ewa Community, Elder Utitofon Ebong making his remarks.

Ebong who assured that his community will cascade the training and also expand the club thanked PPDF for opening their eyes to relevant environmental regulations and government agencies they need to partner in safeguarding their environment.

” We sincerely want to thank the PPDF for the overwhelming interest shown in our environment. The training has opened our eyes and we want to assure you that our consciousness has been awakened,” he added.

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