By Daniels Ekugo
The FishNet Alliance has referred to as for help for fishers in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State and in different coastal communities throughout Nigeria whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and different human-induced environmental stressors.
This name was made throughout a Community Dialogue hosted by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and attended by members of the FishNet Alliance at Ibeno on 28 August 2020.
The Alliance which is an initiative of HOMEF, additionally offered fishnets and meals gadgets to the Ibeno fishers who earlier this yr, suffered a fireplace outbreak that destroyed their properties and fishing gears.
The COVID-19 pandemic and authorities restrictions on motion have significantly impacted fishers and farmers on this neighborhood who don’t have any formal jobs and who depend on their every day fishing expeditions for sustenance.
Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF, famous that fishers are important to each native and worldwide economies, however sadly, are among the many most weak teams particularly within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the continual air pollution of the Niger Delta by oil and gas-related actions is unacceptable and authorities should heed to the decision for the clear up of the whole polluted Niger Delta communities.
He emphasised that the federal government should acknowledge and restore the dignity and rights of the folks of the coastal communities to respectable livelihoods as fishers, fish processors, and entrepreneurs.
He used the chance to additionally condemn the oil spill in Mauritius’ pristine marine ecosystem and famous that impacted fishers have to be supported and the surroundings cleaned.
Bassey lamented the lax and discouraging body-language of presidency in defending the aquatic ecosystems in Nigeria from air pollution.
“Looking back to the incidence of dead fish along the coastlines of Niger Delta between February and May 2020, it is regrettable that months after schools of fish died in the area there has been no definitive statement from the government about what killed the fish and what actions have been taken to avoid repeat of such occurrences,” Bassey said.
It ought to be recalled that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) had reported that there have been 1,300 oil spills within the Niger Delta between 2018 and 2019.”
“It is astonishing that we could have an average of 5 oil spills a day in the Niger Delta without government declaring a state of environmental emergency in the entire region. This is unacceptable,” Bassey confused.
The chairman of the FishNet Alliance in Akwa Ibom State, Rev Sam Ayadi, referred to as on the federal government to seek the advice of and interact fishers within the drafting of insurance policies to guard the aquatic ecosystems.
This, in line with the chairman, would allow the federal government provide you with all-inclusive insurance policies that make sure the safeguarding of their rivers, creeks, and seas in addition to guarantying their livelihoods as fishers.
He additionally referred to as on the federal government to carry the businesses which can be polluting their surroundings accountable for his or her acts.
A member of the Alliance referred to as on the federal government and different well-meaning stakeholders to emulate the gesture of HOMEF in offering palliatives and fishing gears to fishers in these attempting instances.
He famous that these will go a great distance in cushioning the impact of the pains attributable to the fireplace incidence that burned their homes, fishing gears and in addition cushion the impacts on their financial system by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the tip of the Dialogue, stakeholders resolved and demanded that: “Fishers ought to be recognised as frontline aquatic ecosystem defenders and ought to be engaged in coverage points.
“Government ought to delineate marine protected areas in appropriate areas and help fishers to guide efforts to guard such areas. Fishers are able to collaborate with authorities in any effort geared in the direction of mangrove ecosystem restorations as that may improve fisheries restoration within the area.
“Government ought to put satisfactory measures in place to assist fishers throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional information of fishing practices, together with people who assist mitigate local weather change impacts ought to be adopted in insurance policies.
“Polluting firms ought to be held chargeable for the harms created and ought to be required to clean-up their air pollution and to duly compensate the affected folks and communities. Fishers ought to unite and interact in additional dialogues to equip members with abilities to function environmental defenders and to take motion to mitigate local weather change.
“Government ought to help fishing communities with housing and enterprise services comparable to storage tools and correctly constructed fish markets. There ought to be extra trade of information between fishers in Nigeria and their counterparts in different African international locations by way of the FishNet Alliance.”