No fewer than 33 persons have been feared killed in 50 communities in Delta State following oil spillage in areas.
Investigation revealed that the devastating oil spill wreck havoc on the people sources of drinking water, farm lands, and fishing waters.
The spill it was gathered occurred on the 24 inches Trans Ramos crude oil pipelines, owned by Shell petroleum Development Company in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta, and destroyed over 25,000 hectares of farm lands including crops
Worse hit is Odomodi community amongst others which are hitherto battling with devastating erosion menace.
In a reaction, Honourable Julius Pondi ,member representing Burutu, constituency at the House of Representatives told DAILY TIMES in Asaba that ‘‘sympathised with the people, especially the families of those affected, though shell had put measures in place to contain the spread to other part of the state, and also recover crude oil from the damaged pipelines, the spill had polluted the entire area, destroyed aquatic life which had made fishing the major occupation of the people impossible.’’
Pondi called on the Joint Investigative Visit (Jiv) team consisting of shell, Directorate of petroleum Resources (DPR) ,and the National oil Spill detection and Response Agency(NOSDR) for to be make their report on the incident public.
The lawmaker however stressed that the spill was not as a result of sabotage, but due to equipment failure on the part of shell, hence the company was trying to avoid its responsibility to the communities.
While expressing worries that multinational oil companies operating in the area have always devised means of short changing communities whenever a spillage occurred, the Lawmaker said Shell was yet to meet with the communities to discuss with them and assuage their plight
I call on Shell to immediately provide relief materials and medical to all the affected communities, it is rather unfortunate that there is a problem at present ” he said.
For his part Mr. Dere Potoki, Youth President of Odimodi Community, who spoke to DAILY TIMES said” the spill occurred in four different points on the crude oil pipelines since on April 24,2018,the action of Shell up until now had not been impressive to us, imagine over 33 persons are presumed dead, they can’t talk, in fact, Shell is more concern about how to recover crude oil from the damaged pipelines without thinking of providing relief materials to the affected others, we will not take this.”
In a swift reaction, some officials of shell in Warri who spoke to DAILY TIMES on condition of anonymity said “management is making efforts to assist, and provide materials for the affected communities and relations of the seriously affected people, it’s painful and not true we have neglected them, we are taking our time to assist them.”