The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), in partnership with RAHI Medical Outreach, a non-government organisation, has distributed relief materials and medical facilities to the people of Opobo in Opobo/Nkoro Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The NDDC Acting Managing Director, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, while presenting the materials, said the commission was intervening in vulnerable communities in the Niger Delta area to make life more bearable for them.
She said Opobo was suffering from the effects of oil pollution arising from oil exploration and exploitation, adding, “The water in the area is polluted by oil and it has high iron content. The salinity is also high because of the ocean. This exposes the people to water-borne diseases such as cholera.”
She said access to communities surrounded by water was difficult and as such, life was usually expensive in such area, adding that the activities of oil companies impact negatively on the environment, making fishing and farming difficult.
“We know that many people can no longer cope with the challenges of providing food for their families. So, in addition to medical care, we have come with some food items to make life easier for the people,” she added.
President of RAHI Medical Outreach, Dr Chris Ekiyor, said the partnership with NDDC was meant to bring succour to women, children and the underprivileged in rural communities.
“We have been taking this medical outreach from one rural community to the other for the past 12 years. We are here in Opobo with the support of NDDC to provide free medical services and relief materials to the underprivileged.
“The focus of this project is to ensure that we provide for those in need. We are giving them rice, garri, groundnut oil, palm oil, yam, fish, tin tomatoes, blankets medication and insecticide-treated mosquito nets,” she said.
In a related development, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, inspected the Kieprima Polo Mission Road in Opobo town repaired by the commission, noting that the completed concrete pavement road was an important link between various communities in the town.