By Henry Ojelu
A non-governmental organisation, Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation in Coastal Region Communities, has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently come to the aid of coastal communities in Delta State that are on the verge of being submerged by ocean incursion.
In a statement by its President, Mrs. Praise Gbubene-Abraham, the organisation said if urgent measures were not taken to save the shorelines of the affected communities, they would soon be swept off the map of Nigeria and become extinct.
She said: “We appeal to the Federal Government, Senate and House of Representatives to give urgent attention to the plight and suffering of our abandoned, deprived and neglected oil producing creek communities in Niger Delta.
“The devastation in Ugborodo-Costain community caused by unprecedented flooding has rendered women, men and children homeless reducing them to abject poverty
“The attentions of Delta State and Federal Government have been drawn to this recent incident. We were informed that Delta State Government has visited. However, CROWEF/EWEF has been working for years with these communities, assisting them with medical supplies, food, wears etc, bringing hope alive to these riverine communities since 2008 in order to alleviate the suffering of these most vulnerable people.
“The major intervention of shore protection should be directly carried out by government from Ugborodo to Costain community urgently. The effect of the global warming and climate changes is seriously telling on our riverine communities, especially the communities hosting major IOCs and oil companies.”
“These communities have existed for decades before oil was discovered in them. If strategic steps are not taken to save the shorelines of these communities that have been a major blessing to the prosperity of our nation, the communities will soon be swept off the map of Nigeria and become extinct.
“We also call on Nigerians, IOCs, companies, organisations and Niger Delta governors to rise up to the challenge to give their support through the NGO for urgent supply of food and materials for the sustenance of the riverine communities, especially those who have lost their houses and sources of livelihood.”