No fewer than 33 persons have been feared killed in 50 communities in Delta State following oil spillage in areas.It was gathered that the devastating oil spillage apart from the havoc it wreaked on the people sources of drinking water, their farm lands, and the alleged deaths of their fish(es),worried residents in the affected areas, have fled their homes for fear of more trouble.
It was further learnt that the oil spillage 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
Odomodi community in Burutu local government area, among others, is the worst hit.But member representing Burutu constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Julius Pondi , who spoke in Asaba ,said : ” We at the Assembly are very sad, We sympathize with the people, especially the families of those affected. Though Shell had put measures in place to contain the spread to other parts of the state, and also recovered crude oil from the damaged pipelines, the spillage had polluted the entire area, destroyed aquatic life which had made fishing the major occupation of the people.
Pondi decried the situation that the report of the joint investigative Visit (Jiv team consisting of Shell, Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) ,and the National oil Spill detection and Response Agency(NOSDR) on the spillage was yet to be made public and emphasized the need for the JIV report to be released,
The lawmaker, however said the spillage 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 responsible to the community .While expressing worries that the multinational oil companies 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 stated.
Also reacting, Youth President of Odimodi community, Mr. Dere Potoki, said: “The spillage 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, they are like they are no more. Shell is more concerned 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 our correspondent 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”.
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