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Climate Change: Foundation advocates grassroots-driven approach to afforestation

Robert Azibaola Foundation has taken the campaign against deforestation and illegal logging to the grassroots in over 20 communities in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Mr Rober Azibaola, Managing Director, Zeetin Engineering and an environmentalist, said on Saturday in Bayelsa that climate change must have  grassroots support.

According to him, “it is from the grassroots that you build it up to a national platform, without that you are just waiting time because the people do not understand what you are talking about.

“They need to know and you need to give them practical examples and this grassroots orientation that I am doing is very important to me and gives me peace of mind to know that I have contributed my quota to environment conservation,” he said.

Azibaola also called for the re-inclusion of the tug-of-war into the Olympic games as a way to preach the message of Climate Change.

He said he was motivated to organise a tug-of-war game amongst Ogbia communities in Bayelsa to preach the message of climate change.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tug-of- war game among Azibaola’s kinsmen was part of activities marking the final burial rites of his mother-in-law, Madam Ego Enesua, at Kolo Community at Ogbia in Bayelsa.

Speaking with journalists after the game, he said one of the essence of the game was also to foster unity among the people of the local government.

“I want to use these games to make practical, the climate change issue. I have spoken with the governor of Bayelsa and he is very happy with what I am trying to do.

“If I can partner with the state government on this kind of thing, maybe the climate change movement in Nigeria will also be domiciled in Bayelsa.

“Nobody has thought of this kind of thing that you can use games to attract people and talk to people and get people’s attention. People don’t just gather and allow you talk to them,” he said.

Azibaola explained that the activities were sponsored single handedly.

“There are people who are agitating for climate change based on how much they will get from international funding. I am not for that.

“If you are a human being, you must contribute your quota to nature and make sure before you die you should beat your chest and say I did my best to pull back the hands of time in respect to climate change,” he added.

He said that the tug-of-war was a completely new game in the state, saying that it may, in another five years, become a national event and the national event can be domiciled in Bayelsa state.

Highlights of the event were the presentation of the sum of US$1,000 to Otuasega community, which won the maiden edition of the competition, while Kolo community and Opume came second and third respectively and went home with US$500 and US$200. (NAN)

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