By Godwin Oghre
Sapele— The people of Baterentie, Batren and Deleketa, along Alero Creek axis of Benin River, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State have sent a Save Our Soul, SOS, message to the Federal Government to save them from dying from the hazard of crude oil pollution from the pipeline of Nigerian Petroleum Develop-ment Company Ltd, NPDC, in Oil Mining Lease, OML, 40.
They said the situation was worsened by the contractor that NPDC engaged to stop the spillage. The three communities, which spoke through their representatives, Mr. Augustine Kpogho, Mr. Kingsley Omo-ghomi and Mr. Christopher Onuawaje, said the pipelines, which run through them, got ruptured on October 12.
They said the spillage flowed into the creeks, which were their only source of drinking water, adding that about two persons had died from drinking the polluted water, with over five others hospitalised in Sapele and Benin.
They also said the spillage had adversely affected aquatic life and killed some domestic animals that drank from the water.
The communities called on President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Delta State government to prevail on NPDC and its contractor to curtail the spillage and redirect the oil pipelines.
Laid 40 years ago
The pipelines in the area, they alleged, had served for about 40 years, having been laid in 1974, out-serving the maximum life span of 25 years in accordance with oil exploration regulation.
They also said that since the spillage occurred over two months ago, the company had neither done the mandatory Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, nor carried out any form of inquiry to ascertain the extent and impact of the spillage on the lives of the people of the area.
While calling on the company to come to their aid by way of compensation and relief materials, the communities noted that if the oil spillage continued, more lives could be lost and further grievous economic damage done to them.