Leaders of Benikrukru United Communities in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State have raised an alarm over a fresh oil spill said to be gushing from a faulty oil pipeline believed to be owned by Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
Benikrukru Community is host to Chevron Abiteye Flowstation in Warri Southwest Local Government Area of the state.
The leaders said thick crude oil slick flowing at high speed has covered the surrounding swamps and spreading to their communities with the fear that it might cause a fire outbreak aside from other damage.
After an investigative tour of the site of the supposed leakage with journalists on Wednesday, the leaders of the communities warned that the failure of the company to mop up the spread of the spill could cause colossal damage to the area.
They called on Chevron and regulatory bodies to quickly deploy safety measures to mitigate the effects, claiming that the spill had already caused damage to their environment and fishing activities.
Spokesperson for the Benikrukru United Communities, Pastor Blessing Tortor, while addressing journalists, claimed that the spill flowed from the Abiteye-Otunana bulk line belonging to the oil giant.
According to him, the new spill started on February 18, without any message from the oil company, alleging that the area had suffered several other oil spillages without a clean-up carried out by the Chevron management.
He said that the current leakage had spread to Benikrukru, Oborogbene, Asantuagbene, Ogbagbene, Kenyagbene, Kokodiagbene and other communities because of the tidal current, adding that it has caused untold hardships to the predominantly fishing population in the communities.
A consultant and environmentalist, Dr. Osakpolor Omorogkeoa, who was at the site of the spill at the instance of the community leaders, expressed shock at the development, saying: “I was consulted by the community to have a joint inspection on the recently spilled oil in Benikrukru Communities, and we found evidence of the spill”
The management of Chevron Nigerian Ltd has yet to respond to the incident as of the time of filing the report.
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