Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Foundation for Youth Development, (FYD) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) has begun reclamation of farmlands in the Niger Delta devastated by oil spills.
FYD said the reclamation would be achieved through engagement of communities affected by oil spills in agroforestry.
Speaking at the inauguration of the programme Abacheke, Ugada and Etwkuru, all of Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, the founder of FYD, Chief Chibudom Nwuche, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, stated that the programme would return the agricultural and economic life of the people of the area.
Nwuche, who spoke through the Project Coordinator of FYD, Mr. Ojiugo Kingdom, said “Out of the desire to ensure a healthy environment for our people whose environment have been adversely devastated by recurring oil spillages and emissions due to oil exploration and production, FYD, reached out to UNDP to intervene in the restoration.
He said his project will obviously restore the lands to its natural status that is suitable for our agricultural produce. This present intervention, which has taken a number of years to plan and coordinate, actually involved a multi-stakeholders strategic partnership with international and reputable donor agencies such as Global Environment Facilities Small Grant Programme and UNDP.
“This project is in line with GEF-SGP’s and UNDP’s mission to support and fund community based environmental initiative that will positively impact the global environment and enhance livelihood through poverty alleviation activities.
“Consistent with our previous youth empowerment programmes, FYD has leveraged the expertise of both our domestic and international partners to ensure the successful execution of this project.”