By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Ikebiri community in Olodiama clan, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has been hit by a fresh oil spill from a Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, facility.
The latest spill, which was noticed last Wednesday, occurred at Well 9 in the deep mangrove swamp and is still spewing crude oil, polluting the immediate environment and creek of the predominantly fishing and farming settlement.
Though the cause of the spill is yet to be ascertained, the incident, it was learned, is the second in less than two weeks.
The earlier spill, Vanguard learned, occurred along the company’s pipeline before last Wednesday’s incident which has pitched the community and Agip at loggerheads.
It was learned that the spewing crude oil has spread far into the creeks and rivers over one kilometre from the spill site due to the tidal movement, ebbing and returning currents.
According to a source, disagreement between the community and the company over the cause of the spill was stalling the Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, to the spill site and possible containment of the spewing crude.
Lamenting the plight of his people, an indigene who spoke under anonymity, said: “Our people who used to fish around that axis cannot fish anymore, due to the spewing of crude oil into the air and water.
“The whole river and air are polluted. Economic trees and aquatic lives have been impacted. As it is now, we are helpless and we need the help of government and environmental groups to ensure that a JIVis carried out to determine the cause of spill.”
Disturbed by the impact of the spill on the environment, the group, Environmental Rights Action team, which visited the area led by its Bayelsa Field Coordinator, Alagoa Morris called on Agip to take immediate steps by placing booms around the spill environment to prevent the crude oil from spreading further while negotiation lasts.