March 10, 2022

Lamentations, as oil spill ravages Bayelsa community

Buhari laments Bayelsa oil spill, says it'll be speedily addressed


By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

Indigenes of Lasukugbene in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have lamented the adverse impact of crude oil leakage from an oil facility owned by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

The natives are also calling on the oil firm to contain a second spill point from last month’s leakage from the Tebidaba/Brass Agip Trunk Line, which spewed crude into the aquatic environment.

The facility, which was laid in the swampy environment in1974, according to the locals, has not been replaced by the operator.

A Save-Our-Soul by the leadership of the community as contained in a field report by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Earth Nigeria, ERS/FoEN, obtained by Vanguard read: “Lasukugbene community is on the verge of extinction due to the severe oil spillage, which occurred on the Tebidaba/Brass Agip Trunk Line.”An indigene of the area, Mr. Amos Ininimikiye, said though they noticed the spill on February 3, 2022, and duly informed Agip, “it was last Saturday that they were able to locate the actual spill point through the assistance of community folks.

“They came with swamp buggie and, in the presence of the regulators and military, excavated the spot. And it was discovered that the exposed section of the pipeline was leaking right from under. There was another spill point not far from this excavated spot, but they refused to visit that spill point.”

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Also speaking, General Secretary of the community, Mr. Valiant Jackson, said: “Lasukugbene is suffering from lack of drinking water due to the current oil spill. Being a fresh water environment, the Nun River and surrounding swamps serve as our sources of drinking, especially as we are in dry season.

It is serious. “The Nun River and swamps, including farmlands have been affected by the oil spill. Another impact of the current oil spill is the destruction of aquatic lives. Fishes and crabs are dying. As a fishing and farming community, this will have great impact on our means of livelihood and even health.

“Our people have been reduced to the level whereby instead of sellers of fish, we now buy frozen fish from the city to the community. Also, instead of drinking from our natural source of water (the Nun River), we now buy sachet water for drinking. Fishing gears are affected by the oil spill. Even the air we breathe has been affected.

“If not for the presence of NOSDRA and Ministry of Environment, Agip workers sent for this work last Saturday would have returned without identifying the ruptured spot on the company’s pipeline.

“They claimed and insisted that there was nothing like a fresh oil spill, alleging that crude oil spreading in the environment was from an old spill, as against the position of the community.

“At the end, the exact spot was identified and excavated. The exposed pipeline revealed rupture, as it was leaking right under the pipe. Everybody present saw it and all agreed that the leak was as a result of equipment failure.”

Vanguard News Nigeria