The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has appealed to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to quickly intervene in fresh crude oil spill in Rivers State.
The Executive-Director of YEAC, Mr Fyneface Dumnamene, who said this in an interview in Abuja on Friday, June 23, 2023, also urged other relevant stakeholders to intervene.
Dumnamene said that the intervention by the stakeholders would help to detect the cause of the oil spill and introduce the necessary measures to curb the menace.
He said the YEAC, through its One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in Niger Delta and Crude Oil Spill Alert System (COSAS), received information of the new crude oil spill.
He explained that the fresh oil spillage occurred in Eleme Local Government Area, in Ogoni area of the state.
According to him, NOSDRA should immediately lead a delegation of oil operators to intervene and be able to detect the cause of the fresh oil spill in the area.
“The intervention is to take strong steps to clamp the spill point to forestall further devastation of the ecosystem,” he said.
Dumnamene recalled that the spill was reported in Eteo Community.
He explained that, about two weeks after, a similar oil spill that had not yet been properly contained was reported in Aleto Community, Okulu River, also in Eleme on June 13, 2023.
He said that another spill was also noticed on June 18, 2023, in Oke-Olebo Stream and had polluted the indigenous community’s fresh water.
He said that the spill had also destroyed the environment and continued to spread to more areas, adding that it was flowing with the water in its bank and channel.
The executive director said that the pipeline was not close to the area where the spill was discovered.
“There are Shell pipelines in the community which the people are also currently working on.
He said that in 2018 and 2022 there was oil spill in Eteo community.
According to him, crude oil can be seen oozing from the ground and flowing freely under fresh water environment vegetation with some of the flora already withering away.
He said that the organisation had been working with those communities involved, creating awareness and sensitising the people on necessary measures to control the situation.
According to him, “I always advise the crude oil spill impacted communities to be calm and patient as steps are being taken to draw the attention of relevant authorities.
“The authorities and other stakeholders will join in thorough investigation visit to the communities to determine the cause of the spill.
“If confirmed to be equipment failure as being alleged, a clean-up will be carried out and adequate compensation paid by the polluter company.
“My organisation will continue to support and stand by the affected communities to give them a voice and guide them to get justice over the oil spill incident.”
By Vivian Emoni