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One man dead, several sick as massive oil spillage hit Niger Delta communities

One man dead, several persons sick and Fuana and Fora affected as massive oil spillage hit NPDC/ELCREST E&P JV FACILITY IN OML 40: Tsekelewu (Polobubo) communities send save our soul message to Slyva, Okowa and others

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The President of the Polobubo Bloc of POLOBUBO Communities, Mr. Paul Toruwei has sent a save our soul message to the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Slyva, Governor of Delta State, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Kyari to come to the aid of the Polobubo/Opuama Communities over the devastating effects of a major oil and gas spillage which occurred in the communities in the early hours of Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Narrating the incident,  Mr. Toruwei stated in a press statement issued on Monday, March 15, 2021, in Polobubo, that at the early hours of Sunday, 14th march, 2021, the major pipeline transporting crude oil from opuama flow station in Oil Mining Lease (OML40) ruptured.

This resulted in spillage of oil in all water bodies and swamp forest of the communities in the operational area which includes opuama, polobubo and their bloc/satellite communities.

Mr. Toruwei, who is the President of the polobubo Bloc of Communities, said further that the incident has landed resident into sorrow and anguish as numerous persons are already hospitalized while Pa Anthony Ebiogbo of Opuama Community lost his life due to gas inhalation arising from the oil spillage in the early hours of Monday.

He said: “As I speak, economic activities have been grounded: as a matter of fact, throughout Sunday, March 14, 2021 residents couldn’t cook their food due to fear of fire outbreak as a result of the gas exudation from the said pipeline, that enveloped the whole vicinity”.

One dead, several hospitalised after massive oil spillage hit NPDC/ELCREST E&P JV FACILITY IN OML 40
One dead, several hospitalised after massive oil spillage hit NPDC/ELCREST E&P JV FACILITY IN OML 40

To forestall further damage to residents of the affected communities, Mr. Paul Toruwei, as a matter of urgency, called on the Minister of Petroleum, Chief Slyva and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Okowa to prevail on the management of NPDC/ELCREST to swing into action and take remedial actions by containing the further spread of the spillage, provide medical care, food, water and other necessities in order to save the lives of resident who have been denied their source of livelihood.

The Communities also called on NOSDRA, DPR  and Ministry of Environment to activate the process of JIV to ascertain the cause of spillage, send relief materials immediately and make arrangements to compensate the affected communities.

Reacting to the incidence, a renowned environmentalist, Nnimmo Bassey said:

“The suffering people of the Niger Delta are sadly used to having oil spills regularly.

“However, the current spills at Opuama area is absolutely outrageous.

“It is a calamity. It is extremely alarming.

“And the worse aspect is that the situation isn’t treated as an emergency.

“The children and others affected by this horrendous spill should be attended to even before the JIVs and other investigations are carried out.

“We do know that JIVs are usually about ascertaining the cause and volume of the spill.

“While that is important, the life of the people and halting the massive ecological harm is even more urgent.

“The spill must be stopped. The spread should be halted.

“The environment must be remediated and restored.

“The offending operators should be brought to book and should adequately compensate the impacted persons and individuals,” Bassey concluded.

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