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Women allege marginalisation, sluggish implementation in Ogoni cleanup

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By Egufe Yafugborhi

PORT HARCOURT—OGONI women, joined by peers from across the Niger Delta, have matched against what they said was continued marginalisation in the contentious cleanup of oil-degraded Ogoniland, Rivers State.

The women, during a Niger Delta Day of Action for Environmental Justice rally in Bori, Rivers State, condemned sluggish Ogoni cleanup and sidelining of women by handlers of the process.

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Young Kigbara, activist under Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, noted during the rally facilitated by the Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, that women have been more impacted than the men over the lingering pollution ravaging Ogoni.

At the event, Ika George, a poet, said: “We will continue to talk about the fate of the people living in a polluted environment. Women, begin to write about the environment. Most writings existing were done by men.”

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Also, Rowland Nwikpo of MOSOP, urged “Ogoni women to remain on the path of peace,” noting that there was need for Ogoniland to remain peaceful so that there would be no excuse to jettison the cleanup.

Executive Director of the Centre, Emem Okon, said the event was to build a critical mass of women in the Niger Delta to advocate participatory and honest Ogoni cleanup and an end to environmental pollution in the region.

She recalled that Niger Delta women resolved in 2016 to “adopt December 17 of every year as the Niger Delta Women’s Day of Action for Environmental Justice to take action to promote environmental and climate justice.”

The women, during the march round Bori, called on government and HYPREP to expedite action on the cleanup with “immediate implemen-tation of the emergency measures as contained in the UNEP report.”

 

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