Some families in Omuobizu, Omkpoba and Mgbere communities of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, have raised the alarm that their underground water has been destroyed by spillage from the manifold operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in the area.
It was gathered that the said oil facility had major underground spillage sometime in 2014 and that SPDC discovered the development only when the crude had already taken over the underground water.
It was further gathered that the spill had already drained and destroyed the entire underground water in Omuobizu and Mgbere since 2015, and was suspected to have spread to other parts of Ibaa and Obele clans.
Speaking on the development, Princewill Chukwure, from Chukwure’s family, Omuobizu, said the spillage has destroyed their wells, adding that drinking water had been contaminated by the spill.
Princewill narrated: “Sometime on January 15, while we were fetching water from our well, we discovered some black substance on the surface of the water.
“On close examination, we found out it was crude. We tried to use light, it was inflammable. What we did was to contact Shell in writing. We also contacted NOSDRA, they came, took sample and never came back with the report.
“Till date, that report has not been made available to us. In 2018, after much efforts, they came and drilled a borehole for us, but as I talk to you, that one has also been contaminated.
“The crude is also found in a well in Uvuahwu Comprehensive High School. Shell has secretly closed that very well too. We don’t have source of drinking water again. We are also living in the same polluted environment.
“Shell has been avoiding to talk to us. They come with military to do their excavation. They have refused to talk to anybody about it.”
He called on the state and the Federal Government to intervene, adding that volume of crude oil in their water and stench in the air were affecting residents of the area.
However, at press time, spokesperson of the SPDC, Michael Adande, could not comment on the development.