February 9, 2017

Bayelsa monarch bemoans effect of toxic waste dump

Bayelsa monarch bemoans effect of toxic waste dump

Gov Dickson

By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—Several years after the clean up of the toxic waste dumped on the riverine town of Agbere, in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company NAOC, indigenes of the community are yet to overcome the negative effect on their environment.

The Amananaowei of Agbere town, HRH John Maseri, who disclosed this when a team from NAOC visited the community, lamented that they were still suffering from the fallout of the toxic waste dump, despite the clean up exercise carried out by the company.

The monarch said though oil producing communities in the Niger Delta were littered with unpleasant stories of hostage taking, kidnapping of oil workers and destruction of oil facilities, his subjects have been supportive of the company’s operations.

Gov. Dickson

He said: “Today, we are a people who are constantly and proactively sensitive and conscious of both our environmental and developmental needs and can from afar recognise the things that are harmful to us and those capable of enriching our wellbeing.

“It was callous on the part of Agip to have dumped that highly dangerous toxic waste material on our land.  Despite the clean up exercise by Agip many years back, we still experience and suffer the negative effects of chemical substances in our ponds, lakes and other water tributaries that constitute the very source of living and existence on this land.

“In our usual peace loving tradition, we sucked in the  occurrence and never harmed any Agip staff or caused any destruction to the company’s facilities.”

Agbere community, he added, deserved to be treated well due to its friendly disposition to the company.

He expressed delight that despite Agip’s shortcoming, the company’s empowerment programme for the community youths had benefited many.

He also solicited the company’s assistance in completing  the internal road in the community as well as furnish its craft development centre with necessary training facilities.