Oil spill pollutes Bayelsa community, residents lament

2020-04-08
THE PUNCH Newspaper- Daniels Igoni, Yenagoa

The people of Angiama in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have claimed that an oil spill from an oil well belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria has polluted the community.

It was gathered that the pollution resulted from equipment failure in the Oil Well 13 operated by the SPDC in the area.

The leakage was also said to have happened on March 27, destroying farms and polluting the river and rivulet.

The Chairman, Angiama Community Development Committee, Mr Johnbull Edward, said Joint Investigation Visit conducted on the oil spill by the officials of SPDC, regulators and the community representatives indicated it was caused by equipment failure.

According to him, the JIV was carried out one week after the incident took place following reports by the community.

He complained that the SPDC had not sent relief materials to the people since the incident occurred despite the fact that it was not attributed to sabotage.

He said, “On Saturday, that was last Saturday (the day after the incident), we came here with the JIV team in connection with the cause of the spill. After everything, we held a meeting at the Shell Camp, Oporoma (Shell’s Nun River Flow Station). And they told us, including the regulators, that the spill occurred as a result of equipment failure. Shell also told us it was equipment failure.

“Since then, we have been hoping; we told them that they should come and do the clean-up because it is affecting our people. People can no longer drink the water.”

Head of Aketeowei families, the landlords to the SPDC, Mr Desi Clement, said they were “not pleased with the way the SPDC is dehumanising the landlord families and Angiama community.”

Clement said, “Knowing very well that this is a very critical period, going by the prevailing issues concerning coronavirus and the stay-at-home decision taken by the Bayelsa State Government; no relief materials have been sent to, at least, ameliorate the plight of the family as their source of livelihood has been damaged by this unfortunate spill.”

 

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