By Paul Olayemi
A spillage suspected to be as a result of a broken pipeline allegedly belonging to an oil coy, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, have sparked environmental problems for residents of Maka street opposite Mechanic village, along Shell road in Sapele, Delta State.
A property owner in the vicinity, Squadron Leader Roland Mujakperuo, narrated to Vanguard how his property manager woke him up, weeks ago, after his tenants found out the water from their wells was now oily and black.
“He told me that there was presence of hydrocarbons in the Shallow wells in the compound and when I got here, I found out, that not only my property but other properties in the area were affected too”.
“The water stinks, and for close to a month now we have not been able to drink from it, the oil has found its way deep into our wells” another resident, Mrs Johnson Anebi told Vanguard.
“when they (Seplat) came here, they gave us all kind of rules after inspecting the wells, we should not make phone call, or smoke, nor do this or that, around here, I am an adult, what about the kids and others,” she asked, calling on the government to come to their rescue.
Mujakperuo said though Seplat has refused to own up to the damages, they have called for two meetings and the community have also met with the affected persons, “they said they were coming to do evacuation of the wells and they will drill other wells to do a comparative analysis of the pollution and up till now they are still foot-dragging.
“I have come under severe pressure to provide water for them, my borehole even packed up and I had to cough out some money to fixed the pumping machine” adding that they are peace-loving people and they intend to go through the normal channel of getting Seplat to do the right thing.
However repeated calls to the General Manager, External Communication, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Dr. Chioma Nwachukwu, to confirm the story was not answered, and neither did she reply the text sent to her.