Oil spill: Bayelsa, Delta communities report Shell to NASS

Several communities in Bayelsa and Delta states devastated by oil spill allegedly from the facility of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), have sent a petition against the oil firm to the National Assembly.

They may also take legal action against the oil firm over its refusal to clean up the spill two years on.

The communities are mainly in Warri North, Warri South West , Burutu councils of Delta State and Ekeremor council of Bayelsa.

The communities, represented by F. A. Monday, Mitchell Suwa and Dr. Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli, in a statement made available to Daily Independent drew the attention of the public, especially governments of Bayelsa and Delta States, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), well-meaning Nigerians, organisations, Red Cross, United Nations, International Community, Non-governmental Organisations, among others, to the effects of the oil spill said to have occurred on December 2011.

They complained about the adverse effect of the crude oil spill estimated to be over 100,000 barrels out of which they said SNEPCo admitted about 40,000 barrels, as well as thousands of tons of harmful dispersants SNEPCo sprayed on the said oil spill to disperse it from the sea surface.

They maintained that the said pollutants, which have not been cleaned up from their areas till date, also contaminated their fishing areas, materials as well as deprived their fishing activities at the sea, caused psychological trauma, loss of daily income and impacted on the health of some of their people, among others.

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They also alleged that fishermen were forced to evacuate their fishing activities, thinking that the noise from airplanes deployed by SNEPCo from the Republic of Ghana and Europe respectively to spray thousands of tones of dispersants on the spilled oil at the sea as well as mist caused by the sprayed dispersants were direct attack.

They further maintained that the said injuries and disturbances have resulted in untold hardships, illnesses and hunger to the people of their respective communities at Bayelsa and Delta states respectively.

They further alleged that the management of SNEPCo only succeeded in supplying wrong and doctored information to the general public without any investigation jointly conducted between regulatory agencies and security agents as well as SNEPCo and their communities representatives in line with NODSRA and EGASPIN regulations to their fishing areas at the sea and point where the said oil spilled from Bonga field so as to ascertain the time, cause, spread and type of spilled oil including persons and properties that have and  may be affected with a view to determining the appropriate clean up and remediation measures, compensation to affected persons.

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