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16th of July 2018

Nigeria News

NGO urges supply of relief materials to Aghoro communities

Non-Governmental Organization under the auspices of Oil and Gas Producing Areas enlightenment and Empowerment Initiative, OGPAEEI, yesterday called for supply of relief materials and medical assistant to Aghoro Community, affected by oil spillage.

The NGO told journalists in Yenagoa, that the medical attention and other relief materials became necessary to ameliorate the suffering caused by the spillage on the people.

Nigerianpilot recalls that the community, Aghoro 1 and 2 were affected by a spillage from the oilfield of shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, on May 17.

Mr Jackson Igbabiri, President of the NGO, explained that after their assessment on the incident, that about 53 communities including fishing settlements were affected.

He said that the community based group was desirous of building a harmonious relationship between oil firms and host communities with a view to reducing conflicts and friction.

Igbabiri said that the most affect communities were those in Aghoro 1 including Famous Ama, Garden of Eden among others and urged the oil firm to make a comprehensive assessment of damages caused by the oil leak.

According to him, supplying the medical items would go a long way to curtail the spread of coughing and other related diseases usually caused by oil spill.

“We have conducted an assessment and we found out that many homes have been affected; we have met with SPDC but they are yet to respond; the water in those areas has been polluted.

“The Farmland has been affected; fishing nets destroyed; coconut farm, plantain and other crops have been destroyed; source of water damaged because they drinks from the rivers.

His Majesty, King Enimikem Famous of Famous Ama Community in Aghoro urged the shell Company and federal government to assist the people with portable water and other relief material.

“I have advised my people not to take the law into their hand, though, it has been very awkward on us but we want the whole matter to be settled in peace.

“We don’t want to cause any violence, what we want from the SPDC, Federal government and other relevant bodies are to come to the aide of our people. Many of our children have been affected by cough and other diseases.

Reacting on the incident, Dr Alice Aje, Manager, Stakeholder Relations at SPDC said the oil firm was responding to the spill incident and sought the understanding of the community.

“We regret the spill because it has adversely affected our operations and business, we have shut operations and stopped the spill and we are in talks with our relevant stakeholders.

“It is our responsibility to clean up the spill and if it was found to be case by equipment failure, we shall pay compensation to those affected, that is our process,” Aje said.

She described the spill as `regrettable and unfortunate’ adding that efforts were underway to convene a joint investigative visit with community representatives to probe the cause of the spill.

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