Oil spill victims in Rivers seek DPR’s intervention
Some victims of oil spills in Okogbe community, Ahoada West Council Area of Rivers State, have lamented the devastating impacts of the leakage in the area.
Some of the victims, who spoke with The Guardian in an interview, decried the development, saying it had damaged their farmlands and fishponds, especially, during the 2020 flood in the community.
They, therefore, charged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to intervene and help them secure justice.They also lamented that in February 2021, a spill from the Okordia-Rumuekpe pipeline operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) had ravaged some farmlands and caused serious damages in the environment.
One of the victims, Dr. Patricia Ogbonnaya, appealed to the DPR to prevail on SPDC to remediate the impacted area and compensate them.
Ogbonnaya who said although inspection was carried out on her farm, which had 12 fishponds, poultry farm, rabbit farm and economic trees, said she was yet to hear from the concerned authorities.
“We have been praying for this day to come and today, God has made it possible. Today, all stakeholders expected, including Shell, Agip and impacted Ekpeye communities were present.
“Thorough inspection was carried out on my farm and the environs and DPR confirmed that indeed, there was unattended spills that spread across the area during the flood, which enhanced the fire incident in the area.
“Of course, if the oil was not there, the entire forest would not have been burnt that way. I believe that DPR will be objective in its report, because thee agency has integrity and will give us justice.” she said.
“I expect justice and all affected victims will get justice. The land should be remediated and justice demands that compensation should be paid for property and farms destroyed,” she said.
Findings, however, showed that the DPR has led a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) comprising Shell and the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to the spill site with a view to commencing the remediation process.
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