|The Spill. Photo Credit: ERA|
Sunday, 4 December 2011
Report: Environment Group Reports Oil Spill In Niger Delta Community
A day after the spill site of 7 November 2011 was clamped by Shell along the Rumuekpe-Okordia pipeline in Ikarama, the Environmental Rights action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria [ERA/FoEN] again received calls from three persons in the community about a fresh spill. A member of the Izewari family of Ikarama was one of the three callers. This was on Saturday 12 November 2011.
The callers informed ERA/FoEN that a fresh oil spill has just occurred that morning. After asking few questions as to what they thought was the cause of the spill, ERA’s field monitors visited the community about two hours later to confirm the incident.
Mr. Geoffery Beli….
Comrade Benjamin Warder, Indigene of Ikarama Community
Even before the constitution and visit of any JIV team to ascertain the cause of spill, anybody who visits this spill site can attest to the fact that this is a case of equipment failure. From experience gained in the field, this is one of the most obvious cases that points to that fact: no signs of any clearing around the spill site, no signs of any digging, just some soft mud that was forced out from the ground with the crude oil and a spongy-like feeling on the immediate spill spot. And, the fact that the crude oil was gushing from three spots within the same spill site supports this point of reasoning because the top soil was still intact. The spill would have sprouted from one point only after the top soil around had been cleared through increasing pressure; especially if the spill had continued for up to a day or more with the initial pressure.ERA saw cassava farms, including newly germinating one flooded with crude oil that was still yellowish in colour. And in some spots in the farm, the thickness of the crude oil was up to 7 inches in depth. Apart from farms so impacted, the swamp, ponds and an area of about 30 plots of land was seriously impacted by the crude oil. As ERA was led around, the yellowish colour of the crude oil was observed under the grasses, plants and other vegetations around.
2.A well constituted JIV team should visit the spill site which, must include representatives of Izewari family, the community, relevant agencies of government and Shell.
3.Apart from giving copies of the JIV report to the Eziwari family and community representatives, recommendations of the JIV team report should be adequate enough to address the impact. And as such, recommendations should be implemented fully by Shell and any other concerned government agencies.
4.To save the environment from too much damage, recovery of spilt crude, clean-up and remediation should not be delayed by Shell. And this should be considered by the JIV team.
5.Adequate compensation should be paid for damages to crops, impacted farmlands and general damages incurred by the victims of this latest spill.
Location: Ikarama Community, Okordia Clan in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State
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