A nonprofit organization, Oilwatch Africa, yesterday, raised alarm over two major oil spills in Rivers communities within one week by an international oil company operating in the area.
This was made know in a statement issued by Oilwatch Africa, where it lamented the devastation caused by the spills from oil pipelines crisscrossing the communities.
The statement accused oil companies of not showing seriousness about the issue by ensuring their facilities are in good condition.
The statement reads in part, “With two major oil spills within a week in Rivers State, Nigeria, it is obvious that the oil companies are yet to show seriousness about ensuring that their facilities are in good working conditions, it is quite alarming that rather than remediating the harms, more investments are being made to expand the areas of threat.
“New investments in the fossil fuels sector and incessant new oil spills threaten to push the world into climate catastrophe and expose the wrong headed pathway taken by nations when they gather at COPs for climate negotiations.
“One oil spill was reported from a pipeline owned by Shell in Eteo community on June 13 2023 while another occurred at Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday, June 18 2023 in Oke-Olebo stream which is the only source of fresh water for the community.”
The statement quoting the Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, and member of Oilwatch steering committee, Arc Nnimmo Bassey, saying, “We have always advocated for a cleaner environment and we charge the Hydrocarbons Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, to take into account the new oil spills that threaten to derail the ongoing cleanup process.
“Steps should be taken to ensure accountability by offending parties”.
The Coordinator of Oilwatch Africa, Salome Nduta, also expressed dissatisfaction over the action of oil companies in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.
“Recently at the just concluded Africa Energy Summit held in UK, it showed that Africa is not just a geographical location but it is also a cow that should be milked dry for the gains of her captors. Polluters should be held accountable for loss and damage inflicted on communities in Africa”, Nduta pointed.
Meanwhile, the Organisation tasked the Federal Government to ensure clean-up of polluted lands and adequate compensation made to the victims.
“Oilwatch Africa calls on the Nigerian government to take charge and ensure the proper clean-up of polluted lands and as well payment of compensation for damage suffered.
“As a group, we further charge all African government to invest in renewable energy taking into consideration the true cost of extraction which is causing more harm than good to her peoples”, she added.