Agip Oil Spill Causes Panic In Bayelsa Community | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Agip Oil Spill Causes Panic In Bayelsa Community

Nigerian Agip Oil Company, oil price
Posted: Sep 8, 2016 at 8:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Igoniko Oduma


Yenagoa – Panic has gripped the people of Kalaba community in Okordia clan of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following a devastating oil spill from a facility operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

It was gathered on Wednesday that the oil spill which was discovered on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 was spreading fast into fishing swamps and forest of the community.

The spreading of the spilled crude oil is being aided by increasing flash floods caused by the long hours of frequent rainfalls.

The people are lamenting that more than one month after the oil spill happened, Agip had reportedly not made serious efforts to put it under control, as crude oil was still spewing from the ruptured point on the facility.

Roman Orukali, paramount ruler of the community, said in an interview on Wednesday that the oil company had not deployed personnel to check the spill and also carry out remediation of the site.

He said although some officials of Agip visited the area three days after the incident occurred, the situation was not rectified.

“Agip came to the site on August 5 though they are yet to reach the area because of water but up till now the oil is still bubbling and it is heading into the swamp. That is one of the fishing swamps we have, and if it is not cleaned up in time it will affect us adversely.

“They don’t use to attend to spill on time so I am appealing to the Federal Government to prevail on the company to return to the spill site on time and make the necessary clean up and remediation”, Orukali stated.

Also speaking on the oil incident, Samuel Opuro, youth leader of Kalaba community, said that aquatic and farming activities are the worst-hit from the oil spill incident.

He said: “When it got to my notice, it was on the August 2, and I am very sure that the spill happened even before then.

“For the site to remain that way for over a month you know what it means and when it rains oil particles go deep into the soil and it affects farmlands, crops, even our economic trees are dying”.

Alagoa Morris, head of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth (ERA/FoEN), Bayelsa State office, has  expressed fear that the Kalaba oil spill might result in epidemic, urging Agip to move fast and contain the spread of the crude.

“This is rainy season, the spill will impact the surrounding swamp. This is when swamp time fishing activities take place and with the spill, that is affected because it is spreading within the surrounding swamp.

“That is why we are very much concerned, because the more the spill, the more the water takes it far away from the very spill point”, he said.

It would be recalled that a gas leak from underneath Taylor Creek had occurred in February at Kalaba, leaving the community helpless.