Published On: Thu, Mar 17th, 2016

Oil Spill: Expert wants FG to sensitises producing communities

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By Mashe Umaru Gwamna, with agency report

An environmentalist, Prof. Sylvester Egwu, has urged the Federal Government to sensitise communities in oil producing areas on the dangers of oil spill on their environment.

Egwu, an oil spillage remediation expert, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Lagos.

According to him, the enlightenment is necessary as most communities are happy when there is oil spill because of the compensation to be paid to them by the affected oil company.

“The communities do not even think about the toxic substances that will pollute their environment when oil spills occur.

“What happens is that they will start quarrelling among themselves about how to share whatever they get as compensation from the spill.

“The companies capitalise on this confusion created by the communities and take them to court instead of focusing on how to mitigate the spill,’’ he said.

Egwu said that at times too, the communities instigate the spill so that they could get compensations from oil companies.

He said that some of the community leaders were selfish because of what they get out of the spillage.

The environmentalist said that the Federal Government needed to do something about this.

He added that the communities needed awareness to change their attitude to the environment.

“The communities need to have surveillance groups that will help to protect their communities.’’

He said that surveillance groups would serve to prevent deliberate oil spills as well as give early reports on those that were not deliberate.

Egwu said that most communities in oil producing areas had no access to clean water and therefore drank polluted water which resulted in cancer and death.

He said that the communities needed to be told that oil spill was a deadly weapon against humans and the environment.

 

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