Frontline Rivers State Pentecostal leader Apostle Zilly Aggrey has joined concerned Niger Deltans demanding attention to the menace of soot especially in Port Harcourt.
Apostle Zilly Aggrey , general overseer of Graceland Church raised the concern over the increasing menace of soot in Port Harcourt on September 19, 2021, while speaking as an inducted honourary Rotarian at the installation of a deaconess in his church, Obomowang Emem Okon as charter president of the Rotary Club of Port-Harcourt Eco.
Highlighting the dangerous consequence of the environmental pollution from soot, the church founder and general overseer said he came in recently from London where a medical check spotted dark spots in the lungs.
“I am pleased to be here and honoured. I will try to read up and understand what Rotary is all about. I will do my little best to support this charter.
“I am concerned about soot in Rivers State. We just came back from London and a medical check revealed black spots in the lung…Only God is keeping us. Count on me to support efforts to address the Eco restoration”.
To make good his promise, Apostle Aggrey announced a donation of the sum of N500,000 for the Eco Club’s mangrove restoration project and picked home the auctioned environmental portrait captioned, ‘Once Upon A Tomorrow in the Niger Delta’.
Former Rivers State House of Assembly deputy speaker, Hon Lee Kwame was also at the event and donated the sum of N100,000 to the new club.
Former Rotary District 9141, Virginia Major explained that Rotary deemed it fit to set up an Eco charter in response to the peculiar nature of the Niger Delta states of Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Edo all under the district. She said the Port Harcourt Eco charter is second in Africa and first in West Africa, the first having been established in Kenya in 2020.
Expressing appreciation to all who came from far and near including the leadership of other Rotary clubs in Port Harcourt and the District governor …, the new charter president, Emem Okon pledged that PH Eco will work for positive changes in the soot narrative among other environmental challenges.
She said the club will under the 2021-June 2022 tenure, plant 50,000 mangrove trees under its reforestation programme and promote environmental literacy including printing of distribution of notebooks to pupils in rural areas and 5000 pamphlets.
“Soot causes breathing complications including asthma, bronchitis, heart disease and cancer. Everyone in Port Harcourt is vulnerable to these health challenges including the COVID pandemic. The Club plans to undertake intensive campaigns to address the Soot in Port Harcourt”, she stressed as she enjoined all to support Rotary in the campaign for a healthier state.
The Board of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Center where Emem is executive director, supported the new club with a N500,000 pledge.