lSay‘We’ve lost about 200 corpses’

By Jimitota Onoyume

Residents of Ogulagha community in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State have called on oil companies, government and other relevant agencies to come to their aid, saying erosion has been washing away corpses in their cemetery into the Forcados River.
Ogulagha is a major host community to the Forcados oil terminal.

Making the appeal at a one-day dialogue in the community, organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, to mark this year’s United Nations World Oceans Day 2022, Chairman of the community, John Bebapere, appealed for shoreline protection to protect the community from the surging erosion from the river.

He said so far, they had lost about 200 corpses to erosion sweeping through the community’s burial ground, appealing to relevant agencies to intervene.

He also lamented the impact of oil spill on their river, adding that the pollution had created huge economic problem for the predominantly fishing community.

He said: “The oil companies operating here are contributing largely to the pollution of our river. We suffer erosion problem here. Swift erosion is washing away our corpses. Our greatest fear now is that the erosion should also not start coming to sweep human beings into the sea.”

Responding to allegations that some residents of the areas were behind attack on oil facilities resulting in pollution of their water, Bebapere said owners of the oil facilities and military men deployed to protect the facilities were the ones that could speak on oil theft and related issues .

“The people that own the facilities and the military deployed to protect oil facilities in the area are those to be questioned,” he said.

Some other indigenes of the community, who also spoke during the dialogue, said most species of fishes had long disappeared from the Forcados river because of oil pollution.

The communities expressed gratitude to HOMEF for coming to the area on the occasion of this year’s World Ocean Day, pleading that they should globalise their plight.

Project Lead, Fossil Politics and Climate Change, Mr. Cadmus Atake-Enade and Head of Media, HOMEF, Kome Odhomor in separate chats with journalists, said the dialogue was all about bringing to fore some of the challenges of the area on the occasion of this year’s World Ocean Day, adding that this would make the relevant quarters to be aware of the challenges.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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