….SACA reveals why children are worst hit during oil spills
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Stakeholders Alliance for Corporate Accountability (SACA) has revealed that children are worst affected when oil spill occurs.
The Executive Director of SACA, Mr. Kingsley Ozegbe made the revelation during a 5-day programme it organized and entitled: Training of Child Safeguarding Club Members at the Ministry of Education in Bayelsa State.
The programme was organized in partnership with the Bayelsa state Ministries of Education, Environment and Health, Catholic Education Board and National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) with support from Nisean Cara.
According to Mr. Ozegbe, research has shown that oil spills and gas flaring affect people of tender ages most due to their weak immune systems.
He added that children born within 10 kilometers away from oil spills are exposed to different health challenges.
Some of such health complications arising from explosives to emission of petroleum hydrocarbon and other toxic substances he said include: Congenital defects, cancer of the living, blood cancer and diarrhea, all of which lead to infant mortality.
Other negative effects of oil spills, he further noted, are stooling and malnutrition as a result of destroyed aquatic lives.
He noted that oil spill is also responsible for miscarriage amongst pregnant women living around oil spills and gas flaring environment. He said 400 children drawn 20 schools across Bayelsa state were trained on the hazards of oil spills.
The Executive Director said “We are catching them young, and we believe that children have a special ability to speak the truth to their playmates, friends, teachers and even parents”
Speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of education, Mr. Christopher Exhrudjakpo thanked organizers of the event, noting that it would keep children abreast on how to keep themselves safe when oil spills occur around them.
Guess lecturers from the ministries of Health and Environment cautioned children to reduce their outdoor activities so as to reduce intake of hazardous substances.
They also advised children to be hygiene conscious and vintner information if they suspect oil pipeline sabotage.