Farmers in Okoro-Utip, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have condemned the harmful impact of oil spills on their crops as well as their aquatic creatures.
Tuesday night in the Okoro-Utip Community Hall, farmers alerted members of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) to a potentially serious problem.
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.
One of the farmers in the neighborhood, Pastor AbasiUbong John, who conducted HOMEF round his field, claimed that cassava stems he planted over a year ago were yet to develop tubers while the stems have started withering.
In addition, he said that all of the veggies planted on his farm have turned yellow, and that applying fertilizers won’t help.
He said, “I planted this cassava over a year ago, and there will be nothing inside of it when you harvest. If you let it sit there for too long, it will rot away from the bottom up.
“The trouble is that the oil that gets onto the farm kills the grass and whatever else you plant, even if you use organic manure and forget about fertilizer. The Ibeno people have been severely impacted by the ongoing oil drilling. Our soil is now devoid of the earthworms, millipedes, and other creatures responsible for aeration.
Plants cannot thrive in the area without the use of fertilizer, which has led to concerns about the health of the local population, according to another farmer named Elizabeth Ifum.
Earlier, Stephen Oduware, Project Lead, HOMEF described Ibeno as a hot site for oil pollution and advised the people to rise up and demand for what is due to be delivered to them.