Empowering Ibeno: CSOs Lead the Charge in Tackling Methane Emissions

In response to the pressing threat of methane emissions in Ibeno, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have launched a proactive campaign to educate and mobilize local communities. On a recent Friday, the Environmental Centre for Oil Spill and Gas Flaring (ECOSGF), the African Initiative for Transparency Accountability and Responsible Leadership (AFRITAL), and the Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF) joined forces, generously supported by TrustAfrica, to conduct a comprehensive sensitization program in Ibeno.

Faustina Peter-kio of ECOSGF underscored the urgent need for action, highlighting how the destruction of ecosystems is exacerbating climate change impacts. With Ibeno hosting numerous oil and gas assets and its strategic position by the Atlantic Ocean, the community is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise.

Dr. Soberekon Afiesimama, a researcher from ECOSGF, delved into the sources and consequences of methane emissions. He emphasized that methane, emitted through various activities like gas flaring, agriculture, and waste mismanagement, significantly contributes to extreme weather events and health issues such as asthma. Afiesimama also outlined practical strategies for methane abatement, including capturing flared gas for energy use and employing digesters and incinerators for waste management.

Comrade Umo Isuaikoh of PPDF stressed the importance of responsible waste disposal practices and urged communities to leverage legislative provisions to hold oil companies accountable for gas flaring. He called for proactive engagement with regulatory bodies to develop effective gas flare elimination plans.

Precious David-Ogaga of AFRITAL urged participants to share the knowledge gained from the training widely and assured ongoing support from the organisations in methane abatement efforts. Chief John Bassey, Coordinator of the Ibeno Environmental Club, expressed gratitude for the enlightening session and pledged the club’s commitment to implementing methane reduction measures.

Through collaborative efforts and community empowerment, CSOs are spearheading a vital initiative to mitigate methane emissions in Ibeno. With collective action and sustained advocacy, the vision of a healthier, more sustainable environment for Ibeno residents is within reach.