IBENO STAKEHOLDERS MEETING: NEED ASSESSMENT FOR MARGINALISED OIL PRODUCING COMMUNITY
The Clement Isong Foundation Team were at Mkpanat Community of Ibeno to conduct a need assessment with key stakeholders. The team had earlier received a delegation from Enactus University of Uyo, who shared despairing story about the vastness of land degradation, industrial carbon emissions,air and water pollution prevalent in this oil producing community.
Ibeno Local Government Area lies in the Eastern side of Kwa Ibo
about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the river mouth.Surrounded with river, Ibeno is one of the largest fishing settlements on the Nigerian coast. It is bounded to the west by Eastern Obolo Local Government Area, to the north by Onna, Esit Eket and Eket, and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean.
In line with ActionAid Nigeria Strategic Partnership Agreement ll Project, the Clement Isong Foundation invited the Enactus team and young persons from Ibeno to be trained on Social Audit and Freedom of Information Act. The training built their capacity to Organise a community entry for The Clement Isong Foundation Team for Stakeholder Engagement with Community to probe and understand peculiar challenges young and old people face at Mkpanat Community.
For over 61 years of reckless oil extraction and carbon emission, the community have experienced
1.0 High Mortality Rate with Life Expectancy at 65
2.0 Oil Spillage that has affected farming and farm produce which is a major occupation of the community.
3.0 Inadequate Healthcare Infrastructures, with the only available hospital located at the Exxon Mobil complex.
4.0 High Level Sea Rise, which has displaced several persons from their ancestral home.
5.0 Lack of power supply which has adversely affected businesses.
6.0 Unemployment and no scholarship opportunities for indigenes of the community.
7.0 No Social Infrastructures and no proper drainage channels.
We further extended our focus group discussion with young people in the community, and they complained bitterly about lack of access to schools, scholarship opportunities, information, technical, vocational, professional and digital trainings to stay relevant and useful in the community. Hence, some of them have resorted to pipeline vandalism to survive the harsh economic reality.
The Monthly Oil Deprivation Allowance designed to support their community have been embezzled by few public officers.
The Clement Isong Foundation, an Implementing partner of Strategic Partnership Agreement project II will build capacity of key stakeholders of this community to sustain an advocacy model to transform the lives of this marginalised community.
Clement Isong Foundation is working with other Youth Organizations like Youth Initiative for Policy Advocacy, Reorientation & Economic Development Greater Tomorrow Initiative Youth Alive Foundation Youth for Change & Social Life Development Foundation to appeal to Akwa Ibom State Government to assent the Akwa Ibom Youth Development Fund Bill or Design a Youth Policy Framework which will provide a social protection floor for communities like Mkpanat.
We also commend the efforts of ENACTUS, UNIVERSITY OF UYO making efforts to rewrite the narrative for the people of Mkpanat Community.
UN Youth Envoy