28 February 2013

Nigeria: Pipes Rupture Cause of Gwagwalada Oil Spill - Investigation Team

The team investigating the recent oil spill in Izom area in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja which destroyed farmland and polluted rivers in the vicinity has attributed the spill to ruptured pipes.

Mr Idris O. Musa, Director, Oil Field Assessment at the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (nosrda) told Daily Trust that preliminary finding by a combined team from NOSRDA and the PPMC showed that the spill was caused by ruptured pipes.

"The pipes were laid since 1977 and had never been changed or replaced. The leakage at Izom is not as a result of vandalism or human activities but purely due to over-aged pipes. As we speak, the PPMC have replaced the damaged pipes and the remediation process have started," he added.

The director said that as soon as the remediation process was completed an analysis of the damaged farmland would be conducted to ensure adequate compensation for those affected.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the ruptured pipeline were repaired over the weekend and had resumed pumping crude oil to Kaduna refinery.

An official of the Public Affairs at the NNPC who didn't want to be named said that the damaged area has been contained and efforts are on to evacuate the spilled products from the site.

"Already engineers from Pipeline and Products Marketing Company had repaired the line and the oil spill had been contained in a small ditch," he said.

Findings by Daily Trust during a visit to spill site showed that the villagers' health is at risk as river from which they draw water for domestic use and the air in the area have been polluted.

Notwithstanding the spillage, the villagers were still seen fetching water from the polluted river which is the only source of drinking water for the villagers, their animals and crops.

A villager who spoke with reporters, Yelo Sariki said their lives were in danger following the spillage.

He described the situation as a serious one which could consume the whole area.

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