21 June 2012

Nigeria: Fresh Oil Spill Devastates Bayelsa Community

Yenagoa — Kalaba community of Bayelsa State is currently being devastated by a new oil spill spewing from five points at the Nigeria Agip Oil Company facility located in the area.

Thick crude oil slick flowing at high volume speed has covered the surrounding swamps and threatening to spread into the Taylor creeks in the absence of intervention or any effort to stop it.

The paramount ruler of the community, Chief Idoniboye Nwalia raised alarm on the danger the spill has poised to the people of his domain since it was discovered a week ago.

Nwalia who could not ascertain the immediate cause of the spill, noted that the community suffered a recorded 10-spillage last year from several oil companies facilities including Agip.

He said, "our people will not continue to experience this environmental injustice we are faced with. Our community has experienced over thirty 30 oil spills since Agip laid its pipelines in this environment. It is only when fear grips the company through media reports that they will mobilize to site for clamping.

"It is the same with clean up, they are never prompt, sometimes sending their secret agents to set the spill sites on fire. And the implication of setting spill sites ablaze is that the air is further polluted, crops and plants around are also affected,"

Corroborating the royal father, Roman Orukali, the community development chairman, added that, "I am convinced that Agip is aware of the current spills because their equipment will inform them. They also have their agents who always give them reports on happenings.

"Some of the company's agents are within our community and they hide themselves. Agip is yet to come and stop these spill points because it is in their character to be nonchalant on such matters", he said.

Effort to get Agip response did not yield immediate result.

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