Asaba — Worsening gas flaring in Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East, Obiaruku, and some parts of Effurun in Delta State, has killed no fewer than 23 persons in the last six months. Reports said the situation in the communities has worsened with the continuous emission of carbon monoxide into the environment, killing unsuspecting residents in the areas.
But it was gathered that the total gas supply from July 2015 and June 2016 stood at 363.19 billion standard cubit feet (SCF) for the domestic and export markets.
Expectedly, a breakdown of revenue from gas sales between January and February showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) earned N944.4million from domestic sales in February.
The figures rose from N880.304million in January, while it realized $172.525 million or N14.506billion from gas export in February, compared to $1,135.89million or N27.178billion in January 2016.The report further said that 219.92billion SCF of gas was produced in February, of which 124.21billion SCF was commercialised, comprising 29.84billion SCF and 94.37billion SCF for domestic and export markets respectively.
The Guardian checks revealed that the victims died of strange diseases due to the release of carbon monoxide. However, stakeholders have projected 2030 deadline to end gas flaring globally because of its hazards, but agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that oil companies comply with the rules of gas flaring appear to have failed.
Residents of oil-bearing communities in Ndokwa West for instance, have suffered untold hardship from gas flaring activities. An elder statesman in Okpai Community, Ndidi Osakwe, decried the negligence of oil companies in the area with regard to complying with the rules of gas flaring, adding that over six persons in the area had died of strange illness recently.
But the Koyenumm Malah Foundation has faulted the idea of ending gas flares in the country by the year 2030. Its Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi, told The Guardian that going by the negative effects of gas flaring on the nation's environment and on the residents of the areas, the country does not need to wait till 2030 to stop gas flaring.
She challenged the Delta State Government to prioritise gas flaring and find a way of ending it in the state before the 2030 global deadline. Apart from the deaths, farmlands around the gas flaring areas have withered, leaving their owners in hunger, starvation and despair.
Reacting to the development, the Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mofe Pirah, described the menace of gas flaring as pathetic and called on the Federal Government to urgently end flares in the country.