July 22, 2024

Bayelsa community bemoans massive oil spillage from Agip pipeline

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Bayelsa community bemoans massive oil spillage from Agip pipeline

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

Indigenes of the Olugboboro community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa have cried out over a massive oil leakage from the pipeline operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, (NAOC) in the area.

According to the Olugboboro indigenes, the spill occurred about two months ago along Ogboinbiri/Tebitada pipeline when the pipeline ruptured which has been attributed to equipment failure.

The leaders of the Olugboboro community, Chief Azeke Matthew Akpowari, Chief Ebimobowei Kenbo Ipkesiware and Assistant Secretary General, Amos Oweifighe, in a letter to the Bayelsa State Government, called for urgent intervention to stop the oil spill.

“We wish to register our utter displeasure and intimate you of the inaction of Nigerian Agip Oil Company, (NAOC), to the oil spillage that occurred in a pipeline operated by the company, at Olugboboro community in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa state.

“The spill occurred about two months ago along Ogboinbiri/Tebitada pipeline when the pipeline ruptured which has been attributed to equipment failure. As a result, for about two months, crude oil has been gushing out from the pipeline, thereby devastating a large swath   of farmlands, ponds, economic trees and lakes in the forest.”

“It will be difficult to quantify the damage wrecked on the people’s livelihood and the environment, because of the huge quantities of crude oil spilled.”

“It would be pertinent to note that Biedinobou where the equipment failure occurred is a major farming and fishing hub of the community. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil have been spilled since sometime in May this year when the pipeline ruptured; thereby turning farmlands, lakes and ponds into rivers of crude oil.”

“Consequently, collateral damage has been done to farms, economic trees, ponds and lakes, which are the mainstay of the people in Biedinobou forest for the past two months since the pipeline began to seep crude oil to the environment. We are in a rainy season; it is aiding the fast spread of the spill to distant areas and rivers.

“Agip has been informed of the ugly incident, however, to date it has not made any attempt to contain the spill from further polluting and degrading the environment.

“Sir, we cannot comprehend why Agip has allowed the spill to continue to destroy the environment, given the negative implications of the pollution on the people’s health, livelihood, animals, aquatic life and the general environment.

“The refusal of Agip to contain the spill has shown its crass disregard to the plight of the people and the environment. In light of the above, we urge you to wade into the matter and we demand the following: Agip should mobilize to the site immediately to contain the spill cleanup and rehabilitate the environment.

“Send relief materials and pay adequate compensation to the community to ameliorate their suffering. We hereby attached photocopies of the spill for your perusal”, the letter read in part.

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