On the 26th of November 2019, the Coalition for Social and Ecological Transformation, CoSET, an umbrella of several environmental and human rights focused originations across Nigeria, launched a campaign in Port Harcourt, Rivers state aimed at ending the flaring of associated gas in the Niger Delta. At the launch of the campaign, the Coalition berated Nigeria’s Federal Government for not taking a firm stand to end gas flaring in the country, citing the continued shift of every deadline established to ensure that multinational oil companies stop the flaring of gas at oil extraction sites.
Speaking at the event, participants from various oil producing communities in the Niger Delta recounted the impacts of gas flaring on their lives, livelihoods and communities; from poor farm yields to rising issues of infertility, illnesses of the epidermis, respiratory organ failures, sight challenges, etc., as well the regular occurrence of acid rains that poison food crops, erode roofing sheets and poisoning wells, streams and other water sources.
The Coalition cited the latest commitments made by the Nigerian government that it will stop the flaring of associated gas by 2020 as another indication of the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards addressing a challenges whose impact on communities has reached alarming proportions. The Coalition noted that with just over a year to the expiration of the 2020 deadline, there was no indication that the government was going to meat that particular deadline.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Tijah Bolton, Executive Director of Policy Alert stated that ‘thirty-five years after outlawing gas flaring, and fourteen years after a High Court declared the act an assault on our human rights, we have no reason to further kick the deadline down the road.”
COsET vowed to drive an intensive campaign to bring an end to gas flaring in Nigeria.
We the People is on the Steering Committee of CoSET.