•Gov Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa
Bayelsa Government on Monday urged the Federal Government to fast-track the delivery of ‘flood shelters’ promised in the wake of the 2012 flooding that ravaged some states in the country.
Gov. Seriake Dickson made the appeal in Yenagoa at the ceremony to mark the 2017 World Environment Day.
Newsmen report that Bayelsa Government shifted the commemoration of the 2017 World Environment Day (WED) from June 5 to June 19, 2017.
Dickson was represented by his Deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd).
Jonah said that the state was grappling with several environmental challenges including landslides, oil spills, marine erosion and flash flooding which were beyond the capacity of the state to deal with.
He commended the Federal Government’s plan to establish modular refineries in the Niger Delta region, saying that it would eliminate the pollution and adverse consequences on the environment caused by illegal refineries.
Mr Williams Alamene, the Commissioner for Environment, attributed the current flooding in the state following heavy rains, to the blocked drains.
“The flood in Yenagoa is man-made; since the rains started, our team at the Ministry of Environment has been working round the clock, efforts are being intensified to open the drains for water to flow.
“We have issues with people dumping waste into the drains and blocking them, some people have also built houses on the natural drainages.
“We are soliciting the support of members of the public to comply with town planning standards,” Alamene said.
He condemned the indiscriminate and excessive logging of timber as not only unsustainable but also negated efforts at mitigating the effects of climate change.
Dr Anthony Chovwen noted that Bayelsa was endowed with rich biodiversity which could be harnessed for tourism.
He noted that unlike oil revenue, proceeds from environment-based tourism had no adverse effect on the environment.
Chovwen said that humanity depended on nature and urged citizens to take deliberate steps to protect and conserve the environment.
“The world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
“Scientists develop medicines using genetic materials drawn from millions of spices that make up ‘EARTH’ outstanding biological diversity.