Environmentalists have urged Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to remediate areas polluted by oil leak from its facility in Yenagoa and Ogbia Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State.
Mr. Osagie Okunbor, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria
The environmentalists under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) SPDC said that the leak discharged crude into the Ekole River, a tributary of Nun River.
ERA/FoEN position was made known in its field report signed by Alagoa Morris, the Head of Field Operations at the Bayelsa office of the non-governmental organisation on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
It called on the SPDC to embark on a comprehensive remediation of the river and the devastated flora and fauna, while preventing fire outbreak at the spill site.
The incident occurred on March 31, from the SPDC Manifold at Otuokpoti and impacted communities in the Ogbia and Yenagoa Local Government Areas of the state residing near the bank of Ekole River.
The SPDC and the affected communities were still in disagreement over the cause of the spill.
These communities being predominantly fishing and farming communities also dismissed claims by the oil firm that it swiftly mobilised a response team to the impacted site to prevent the spread of crude.
Morris maintained that the people of the areas had the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development as enshrined under Article 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
He further advised that the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) to be conducted on the incident should be devoid of the usual industry politics of predetermined results to be forced into the JIV.
“Shell should carry out proper clean-up of all impacted environment along the Ekole River and around the spill site promptly, no matter the cause of spill.
All stakeholders, including community representatives in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) should be given a copy of the signed JIV Report at the site in line with industry practice.