Home Business Remediate Nigeria’s first oil well community in Bayelsa-Rotary Club tells FG

Remediate Nigeria’s first oil well community in Bayelsa-Rotary Club tells FG

by Business News Report

Rotary Club of Port-Harcourt Eco chapter has called for remediation of  Otuabagi community host to Oloibiri oilfields, in Ogbia, Bayelsa State, where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in 1956. The Eco chapter, which is devoted to the conservation and protection of the environment as part of its advocacy weekend held engagements with representatives of the community to draw attention to the adverse environmental effects after oil production stopped decades ago. President-elect of Port Harcourt Eco chapter of Rotary, Mr. Iniruo Wills, a former Commissioner for Environment in Bayelsa said they were in Otuabagi, where oil exploration which has become  the pride of the nation started to take stock of its negative impact and draw attention to it and the need for remediation.

He said:  “oil exploration had stopped over 30 years ago, but residual oil leakages still pollutes the surrounding when it rains and subjects residents to untold hardships as the oil firm abandoned the area with no measures to mitigate leaks from the ‘dry wells.” Wills called on the Federal Government and the oil industry to be responsive to the plight of people in oil bearing communities especially when the oil wells dry up. Speaking at the event, Dr Bieye Briggs, Public Health Physician, noted that though crude oil extraction stopped over 30 years ago, crude is still oozing out from the wellhead to pollute the environment. He said the people are in great danger as aquatic lives including fishes and shrimps are being destroyed and even those that survived are very harmful to human health when consumed.

“Those hydrocarbons discharged have been concentrated within the aquatic space and contaminate the fauna and flora and they become poisonous to human lives. That is why within a period of 10 to 15 years you begin to see cancers, kidney diseases, liver problems, lungs and respiratory disorders, because of the oil pollution in the environment,” he said. According to him, the residual oil leakages also affect the underground waters, which the people also depend on for survival as they consumed them. In his response, Chief Joseph Erefa, Acting Chairman Council of Chiefs, Otuabagi noted that the people have been neglected for decades and schemed out because of oil politics. He called on the Federal Government and the oil firms to reconsider their stance on the area as the ‘goose that lays the golden egg’  and bring social amenities to alleviate the suffering of the people. The delegation also visited Oil 1 and 2, known as Oloibiri oilfields within Oil Mining Lease 29 previously operated by Shell Development Company SPDC but now sold to Aiteo.

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