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Fresh oil spill hits Ogoni community, destroys farmlands – Punch News

By Dennis Naku

A fresh oil spill has hit the Bodo community in the Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, destroying farmlands.

It was learnt that the oil spillage occurred on Thursday from a pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company.

This came barely two months after a similar incident occurred along the pipeline at different locations in the area.

One of the affected residents, Monica said they heard a blast at about 1 pm saying the spillage had destroyed farmlands, and rivers, which the people depend on for their livelihood.

She stated, “You know we the Ogoni people are mainly farmers and fishermen. But with what has happened now it will be difficult. Let the government come and help us.”

A non-governmental organisation, Eco Defence Alliance, slammed the multinational company for refusing to proffer permanent solutions to the problem of oil spills on its facility in the area.

In a statement, the Coordinator, Eco Defence Alliance, Damian Gbogbara, said the latest spill occurred on Thursday 4th July 2024, at about 12:45 am in the Sugi area of the Bodo community.

Gbogbara said the incident in an area not far from where multiple oil spills have occurred in recent times on the Trans-Niger Pipeline operated by Shell

He said the group has lost count of oil spill incidents in Bodo due to incessant occurrences, and warned that caution should be exercised by relevant authorities in the quest to find out the cause of the spill and subsequent closure of the leaked pipes to avoid any crisis in the community.

“Again, there is the need for transparency in the whole process, from constituting the JIV team to its implementation and its final result to avoid any form of crisis as witnessed the other time.

“The JIV report will help to hold the companies to account and also served as evidence-based documents for possible litigation on the ecosystem destruction, and safe the fragile Bodo, Ogoni, and Niger Delta Environment, especially with the ongoing clean up exercise by the Bodo Mediation Initiative, beside the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project coordinated Clean Up gearing up to start in the area,” he stated.

He called on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency to embark on a joint investigation visit with Shell and other relevant stakeholders to the spill site in the Sugi Area of Bodo City and not to delay as it has always been doing.

He further said the JIV report would help to determine the cause and volume of the spill and the extent of damage to the Environment and the ecosystem and warned against any attempt to manipulate the JIV process and its outcome.

He added, “The latest spill occurred on Thursday 4th July 2024, at about 12 45 am in the Sugi area of the Bodo community.

He said the group has lost count of oil spill incidents in Bodo due to incessant occurrences, and warned that caution should be exercised by relevant authorities in the quest to find out the cause of the spill and subsequent closure of the leaked pipes to avoid any crisis in the community.

“Again, there is the need for transparency in the whole process, from constituting the JIV team to its implementation and its final result to avoid any form of crisis as witnessed the other time.”

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