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Communities seek help over dead fishes on shorelines

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Bayelsa communities along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean are seeking federal and state government intervention over the cause of dead fishes littering the coastlines near Chevron oil firm’s operations.

Residents along Koluama, Ekeni, Ezetu, Fishtown, Foropa, Sangana axis of the Atlantic coastline in Bayelsa, hosts to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) had reported sighting dead fishes littering the shoreline, since the middle of March.

Mr. George Ibobra, a community leader and former Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman allege that the site of a 2012 well explosion was likely cause of the marine pollution.

He said that the blowout from the oil and gas well was not properly sealed resulting to discharge of mixture of oil and gas leaks impacting adversely to aquatic life.

Also speaking, an environmentalist and former Commissioner for Environment in Bayelsa State, Mr Iniruo Wills, called on oil industry regulators to priorities investigation of increased toxicity of Atlantic coastline causing massive death of fishes.

The environmental rights crusader noted that continual massive death of fishers within Nigerian territorial waters for the past one month was an indication of a sever underlying factors from nearby oil installations.

He said that the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) should as a matter of urgency swing into action to trace the source of the pollution despite the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard public health.

However, Chevron Nigeria, an affiliate of US energy firm, which operates oilfields near the communities said that there were no leaks from its facilities in the area.

Mr Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager in charge of Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited denied any links with the alleged pollution with the operations of it oil firm.

Mr Idris Musa, Director-General, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) said the spill agency will commence an investigation as soon as the lockdown for the COVID-19 is lifted.


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