The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has confirmed the Oct. 3 oil spill from its facilities at Peremabiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa.
Mr Michael Adande, a Spokesperson for SPDC, told our reporter on Friday that a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to the incident site to unravel the cause and volume of oil discharged was underway.
JIV is a statutory probe comprising representatives of the operator, host community and regulatory agencies that generate a report to show cause, extent of pollution after every spill is reported.
Adande said: “A government-led Joint Investigation Team is currently on a Joint Investigation Visit to the site of the incident to determine the cause and the impact of the incident.”
Meanwhile, the people of Peremabiri have appealed to all tiers of government to prevail on the SPDC to immediately embark of a clean up exercise at the oil spill site.
It was reported that the leak from the Diebu Creek Flow station, operated by SPDC in Peremabiri, discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude oil to adjourning areas of the community and the Nun River.
Mr Alagoa Morris, Programme Manager, Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), in a reaction said the oil leak had polluted the ecosystem.
He said that the resultant pollution from the oil spill has adversely affected the predominantly farming and fishing settlements along the banks of River Nun.
Morris, who is also the Technical Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Environment, commended the peaceful disposition of the victims.
He urged the regulatory agencies to ensure that SPDC immediately carries out the required clean up process to save indigenes of Peremabiri Community from economic and health challenges.
Mrs. Yenimi Timipre, an impacted farmer, also bemoaned having her fishing gear stained by crude and rendered useless.
Also, the Deputy Woman Leader of Peremabiri Community, Mrs Favour Morgan, lamented that the spill has destroyed their fishing nets, traps, crops and polluted the whole aquatic environment, and demanded for succour.
“This oil spill has thrown the Peremabiri people into despair. We are into farming and fishing as our means of livelihood and the toxic oil from Shell’s oil field has damaged our livelihood sources.
“We are helpless and in dire need of intervention by way of relief and succour to farmers and fishermen,” Morgan said.