Residents Groan Over Conoil Neglect Over Oil Spill That Hits Delta Community


By NewsView

Palpable tension has gripped residents of Amuokpokpor-Elume community and it’s neighboring communities in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State and Okpe LGA of the state following an oil spill from leaking wellheads, operated by Nigeria’s giant domestic oil firm, conoil that has led to the outbreak of waterborne and skin diseases in the various communities.

The locals who expressed displeasures over the unfortunate disaster at a peaceful protest in the community said the river that has been poisoned by the spill remained the only source of drinking, cooking, bathing, and farming activities to the locals just as they demanded justice for their healths, survival and environment.

The Amuokpokpor Community Chairman Mr. Christopher Efe Obule who led the protesters at the community waterside said crude oil and natural gas have been pumping into the community river and nearby fishing settlements for weeks now, along the Amuokpokpor Elume Community coastline through other communities before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean and conoil has abandoned their corporate responsibilities in disaster management.

He described the river pollution as very unfortunate disaster that has hit the community since the oil was discovered along the community river over forty years ago.

The Community chairman who lamented the havoc caused to the community, called on the relevant authorities to come to their rescue and restore sound health to their people and healthy environment.

“Our people only source of water remained this river and all our aquatic animals have been killed by the pollution. What has happened here was clear wickedness by the operatives to have left us to suffer for what we know nothing about. They refused to purify the water for our consumption. We have to be contributing and buying sanchet water for drinking and cooking.

Mr. Obule who said some of their children who were ignorance of the disaster, drank the polluted water, and were quickly hospitalized while others developed skin diseases.

‘As we speak right now, some of our children that drank this water only survived it just because of God’s love towards us. After drinking it, they were rushed to the nearby community health centres where they were treated cholera and skin infections.

Also speaking, Councillor Representing Ward 18 in the Council, Hon. Sam Azu called on government at all levels, as well as other well meaning individuals and organisations to prevail on conoil to do the needful regarding the oil spills, lamenting that it had grounded economic activities in the area for weeks now.

Hon. Azu who is a native of the community said the sad incident remained the biggest oil spill disaster in the history of the community since the three wellheads were built there over 40 years.

The community eldest man Mr. Smart Oghomedje who spoke alongside others said the residents of the community who are peasant farmers can nolonger go to their fishing activities.

While displaying their fishing nets, cages, hooks among others soaked in crude oil, said if no urgent attention taken by the company to ameliorate their plights, that the possibility of the entire community been wipeout by the water borne and skin diseases is inenvitable.

They however demanded the physical presence of the Managing Director of the oil firm to see things for himself and ensure honesty and transparency on the way out of the woods.

The affected communities include Amuokpokpor-Elume, Ologho, Elume, Okwelabra, all Sapele LGA.

Others are Ekoko, Eroghor, Idjekporo, Mereje, Opuraja, all Okpe LGA.

Meanwhile, all efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the company through one of the company’s staff Mr Shola Ekundayo who spoke to our correspondent was unsuccessful as he directed our correspondent to go to their corporate office in Lagos to speak to the company.