CEHRD Environmental team and the Women in Environmental Justice Network, WEJN, paid an advocacy visit to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as part of the efforts of the network to garner support for women and to encourage them to speak for themselves. It is believed that engaging with government regulatory agencies will enhance their abilities to demand justice against the issues of environmental degradation and poverty plaguing the Niger Delta region due to oil exploration.
During the visit, WEJN advised the Zonal Controller of (DPR) with her team to always suggest favorable policies that will preserve the Niger Delta polluted environment and any company which caused such pollution should not only pay compensation but should, by law, restore the polluted site back to its natural state to their appropriate authority. WEJN also enjoined DPR to create modalities that will enforce the oil companies to reduced pollution and the risk of oil spills as the effects are more on women and children as well as the inclusion of women in the processes of managing oil spills /(Joint Investigation Visits (JIV) noting that as the most vulnerable group, women will be able to explain the effects and suggest better ways of remediation as well as management of compensation money for alternative livelihood
The Zonal Controller acknowledged the importance of women and their roles on issues of the environment. She advised that WEJN should engage and lobby the Ministry of Women Affairs and Minister for Environment (Federal Ministry of Environment), saying that since both ministries are headed by women, they can influence policies and programs of women. She noted that for affirmative action to work, women should do things to promote other women.