Nigeria

One dead, many hospitalized as oil spill shatters Delta communities

The people of Polobubo, Opuama and other riverine communities in Delta State have raised the alarm over a crushing oil spillage that has left a villager dead and several persons hospitalized.

President of Polobubo bloc of Polobubo communities, Mr Paul Toruwei, who spoke for the communities, told newsmen that the overflow occurred on March 14.

The dead victim, Pa Anthony Ebiogbo, he disclosed, died after inhaling excess gas, March 15, a day after the spillage occurred.

Calling on the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, to come to the aid of the communities, he asserted: “The spill occurred in the early hours of Sunday, March 14, the major pipeline transporting crude oil from Opuama Flow Station in Oil Mining Lease (OML 40) ruptured, which resulted in the spillage of oil into all water bodies and swamp forest of the communities in the operational area, including Opuama, Polobubo and their bloc/satellite communities.”

“The incident has thrown residents into sorrow and anguish as numerous persons are already hospitalized, while Pa Anthony Ebiogbo of Opuama community lost his life due to gas inhalation arising from the oil spillage in the early hours of Monday 15th March 2021.

“As I speak, economic activities have been grounded, as a matter of fact, throughout Sunday, March 14, 2021 residents could not cook food due to fear of fire outbreak as a result of gas exuding from the said pipeline that enveloped the whole vicinity,” he added.

The community leader urged the minister and governor “to prevail on the management of NPDC/ELCREST to swing into action and take remedial actions by containing the further spread of the spillage, provide medical care, food, water and other necessities in order to save the lives of residents, who have been denied their source of livelihood.”

The communities also called on NOSDRA, DPR and the Ministry of Environment to activate the process of JIV to ascertain the cause of spillage, send relief materials immediately and make arrangements to compensate the affected communities.

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