Nigeria: DPR Urges Calm Over Oil Polluted Wells in Benue Community

14 January 2020

Makurdi — The Makurdi zonal office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has urged residents of Kpejnde/High-level community in Naka town of Gwer West Local Government Area in Benue State to remain calm as expert investigation commences on pollution of hand-dug wells with substances suspected to be petroleum products.

Daily Trust reports that residents of the community had raised an alarm a fortnight ago that over 40 wells were polluted by oily substances which has resulted to hardships in sourcing drinking water in the households.

The residents had blamed the pollution on a nearby fuel filling station in the vicinity which they alleged might have leaking underground tanks which results to a spillage.

However, the DPR Deputy Controller in Makurdi office, Engineer Gabriel Adagba, who visited the community at the weekend alongside supporting DPR officials and engineers from Prompt Engineering to carry out a manual and scientific investigation of the suspected leakage from underground storage tanks have exonerated the filling station.

Adagba appealed to members of the community to exercise patience as further extensive survey will be carried out within the range of about 2 kilometers radius to determine the root cause of the pollution since the initial test conducted on the filling station's tanks did not indicate any leakage.

He disclosed that the fuel station was temporarily shut for 48 hours as a matter of procedure to determine the existence of leakage from the storage tanks that spills into the wells but that no evidence to that effect was found.

Adagba added that samples of the substance have already been taken for further investigation and that residents of the community have been advised to desist from using the wells to avoid any unfortunate outcomes.

On his part, the leader of Prompt Engineering, Engr Albert Uduokang, who also conducted scientific evaluation on the five storage tanks involving AGO, DPK and PMS to investigate possible rust on the underground tanks and pipes, gave the filling station a clean bill of health.

The DPR further ordered a complete shutdown of the affected wells for safety of the households in the community and its environs until sources of the spillage are identified in view of likely indications that the spill may have occurred from a distant source that flows through an underground water table.

The local government authority was in this respect advised to provide the affected communities alternative source of water for daily use.

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