An Indian environmentalist and physicist, Dr Vandana Shiva has been slated to give a lecture at the Right Livelihood College in Port Harcourt to commemorate the UN International Year of the Soil.
According to a statement from Rev Nnimmo Bassey, executive director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Shiva, 1993 Right Livelihood award laureate, will speak in Port Harcourt, Bori, Erema in Rivers and Abuja.
“The UN has chosen 2015 as the International Year of the Soil with the aim of raising awareness about the importance of soil for human life, food security, climate change adaptation and sustainable development. In the Niger Delta, oil extraction has severely contaminated the soil.
“A 2011 United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, report assessing the environment of Ogoni found that in over 40 locations tested, the soil is polluted with hydrocarbons up to a depth of five metres
“The report had it that all the water bodies in Ogoni land are polluted. With oil spills occurring with a disturbing frequency of almost one a day, the soil and waters of the Niger Delta are being severely degraded, thus raising challenges for production of wholesome food,” the statement read in part.
Bassey further said, “Vandana Shiva’s visit is timely and we expect that she will raise critical issues on the need to preserve our soils, seeds and food systems, rather than allowing them to be destroyed by the irresponsible activities of oil companies in their bid to extract resources of diminishing value.”

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