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Ibeno farmers in Akwa Ibom are upset about the damage oil spills have done to their harvests

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Ibeno farmers in Akwa Ibom are upset about the damage oil spills have done to their harvests

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The harmful effects of oil spills on crops and aquatic wildlife have been lamented by farmers in Okoro-Utip, Ibeno Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

The farmers raised the alarm on Tuesday during a community prospection meeting with Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) at the Community hall, Okoro-Utip.

Many farmers who took out loans from microfinance institutions were left disappointed when their crops failed to produce because oil had come into touch with them.

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Pastor AbasiUbong John, a local farmer who showed HOMEF around his field, lamented that the cassava stems he planted over a year ago have still not produced any tubers.

All the veggies he planted on his farm have turned yellow, he said, and no amount of fertilizer will help them recover.

He said, “I planted this cassava over a year ago, and there will be nothing inside of it when you harvest. It will begin to rot from the ground up if you let it sit there for too long.

The problem is that any oil that makes it onto the farm will kill the grass and anything else you plant, regardless of how much organic manure or fertilizer you use. The Ibeno people have been severely impacted by the ongoing oil drilling. Our soil has been negatively impacted to the point where beneficial organisms like earthworms, millipedes, and others are no longer visible.

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Also, another farmer, Elizabeth Ifum, said that the health of her people have been jeopardized by consumption of crops cultivated with fertilizers as plants can never thrive in the area without application of fertilizer.

Ibeno is a hotspot for oil contamination, as explained by Stephen Oduware, Project Lead, HOMEF, who also urged the people to take action and demand what is rightfully theirs.

 

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