Health

Entrepreneur spearheads campaigns against environmental degradation

By AHERHOKE OKIOMA, YENAGOA

An entrepreneur cum inventor, Azibaola Roberts has again commenced another round of enlightenment campaigns against deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation of the Niger Delta rainforests.

Hence, the Social Thinker applauded for recently receiving an award of the innovator of the year from the Vanguard Newspapers for his invention of an electric car and as well as other innovations in the Nigerian automobile industry has organized the first of its kind ‘bonfire night’ to push forward his environmental activism Campaigns.

The Trumpet source reports that the event which was tagged, ‘an invitation from Azibaola Robert for a bonfire night’ in Otakeme Community, which is the organizer’s home town, in the Ogbia Council area of Bayelsa state featured the reliving of environmental features and old experiences by natives and non-natives alike in the Niger Delta rainforest.

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Speaking to journalists on the reasons behind the event, the activist who also doubles as the Founder of Zeetin Engineering Nigeria limited stated that he intends to use the programme to create awareness and enlighten the people of the Niger Delta on the importance of the Niger Delta rainforest and why it has to be protected.

The Kakatar and Zeetin Engineering groups CEO who described the trend as worrisome, cautioned against the high spate of indiscriminate logging and wildlife hunting, saying if not curtailed, it could snowballed into total extinction of trees, some specie of fishes and animals habitating the Niger Delta rainforests.

The Trumpet also learnt that prior to the ‘bonfire night’ and enlightenment programme in Otakeme Community, that in no fewer than six months ago, Robert had alongside staff members of Zeetin in company of journalists had also made the first ever 14 days (fourteen days) expedition into the Niger Delta rainforests in which Otakeme Community’s forest was chosen as the pilot forest for the programme.He promised to make the forest expendition an annual event, even though without local or international collaboration and partnership.

He stated that with indiscriminate logging, wildlife hunting by Indigenes and non-indigenes of the Niger Delta region and uncontrolled environment pollution caused by activities of multinational companies ongoing unchecked in the region, he was afraid the region’s flora and fauna is headed for obliteration.

“That is why traditional Rulers were invited to take the message to the grassroot” he said. A visibly passionate Robert enumerated some of the already extincted trees, saying upon carrying out his first 14 days expedition into the Otakeme forest recently heart rending discoveries were made as to the level of the destruction of the biodiversity of the area.

He said: “I’m not doing this event because I want to criticize the government for not doing enough to protect our rainforests. The Niger Delta is called the rainforest because when it rains in the communities here, it also rains in the Niger Delta region’s forests. “The Niger Delta has one of the largest rainforests in the world.

The largest rainforest is called the Amazon rainforest some where between Brazil and other American nations. We must protect this blessing given to us by God. “I grew up in this Communitiy as a child, and I know certain places where named after trees. But now all those tress have been fallen down by loggers for furniture and other things.

Surprisingly, you can’t find any furniture industry in this area, but can find them in areas that don’t have the rainforest like us here”. “I’m not doing this programme to gain anything, but to enlighten our people and create awareness on the dangers of deforestation and the near total extinction of our biodiversity.

“I’m not too poor, but I’m also not too rich to say I’m doing this event for any selfish gains. Recently myself, members of my team and other persons, including Journalists went into the Otakeme forest on a 14 day expedition to uncover the spate of environmental degradation of our rainforests in which we discovered that certain animals, trees and other biodiversity have completely gone into extinction.

If you cut one tree, plant more, because without these tress, there won’t be life. The oxygen we breath comes from the trees which take in carbondioxide from the environment and give us oxygen for our survival.”

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