Nigeria: Oil Companies Killing Our Business With Pollution – Akwa Ibom Fishermen
By Chioma Onuegbu
Fishermen in Akwa Ibom State have identified pollution of waters/rivers by oil multinational companies as the major problem militating against their occupation.
Representatives of fishermen drawn from Mbo, Ibeno, Oron , Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo, Oruk Anam local government areas of the state, lamented their plight at a ‘Fishnet community dialogue’, organized by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) in collaboration with Rosa Luxemembung Foundation, West Africa,in Ibeno.
They complained that fishermen are now recording very low yield because of contamination of the river by oil companies, a situation that has led to scarcity and high cost of fish in Nigerian markets .
Chairman of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom state branch, , told NDV in Iwuokpom fishing settlement, Ibeno Local Government area, that about 85 percent of fish consumed in the country were produced by Nigerian fishermen, expressing fear that awkward situation would continue if the federal government and oil companies operating in the country failed to end oil pollution .
He said, “One of our major problems as fishermen is the pollution of our waters. Pollution from activities of oil companies has caused a lot of problems to this section of agriculture. For instance, the type of fish we normally catch before are no more. In this part of the country, the common fish we have is Bonga fish and sardine, but now you cannot find them in the waters anymore.