The Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government, NOSDRA, and International oil companies, IOCs, to look into the fire outbreak at the Trans-Forcados Pipeline around Chanomi Creek, Yeye community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
The CEPEJ’s National Coordinator, Peace Amb. Comrade Sheriff Mulade expressed the NGO’s disappointment over what he described as utter disregard of the Niger Delta environment by those benefiting from the resources of the region.
He condemned the negligence by NOSDRA, the government agency established to cater for the people (in) and the environment of the oil region.
He noted that avoidable disasters had been allowed to wreak havoc in the delta, adding that innocent people and the environment were most affected due to lack of proactive measures.
He alleged that the fire incident which occurred Saturday night at about 11:45pm, when residents were already asleep, was caused by ongoing repair works at a spill site, and this has already led to some causalities.
A worker was involved and many others sustained several degrees of injury.
CEPEJ’s stance against NOSDRA, our reporter leanrt, was due to the agency’s alleged non-charllant approach to an invitation by the NGO, sent to the Director General of NOSDRA stating he should visit communities and creeks in the Niger Delta Region affected by oil spill to enable him have first hand knowledge of the situation.
He said NOSDRA’s negligence has caused numerous oil spills and related environmental disasters, alleging that the agency lacked adequate information on the numerous oil spills in the region, which has disabled it not to discharge its statutory functions effectively.
Comrade Mulade reminded NOSDRA that several explosions of oil and gas pipelines had caused far-reaching environmental and ecological disasters.
He attributed this to the substandard oil and gas transportation facilities that were often unchecked before usage.
He alleged that NOSDRA failed to give correct evaluation of the volumes of crude oil and gas that have been discharged into the environment due to various explosions, leakages, equipment failures and third party interference, as well as
NOSDRA’s failure to inspect pipelines that were due for remedial maintenance.
The environmentalist however called on IOCs operating in the area to provide relief materials to affected communities, urging the people to vacate the area to prevent health-related complications such as terminal diseases.
He urged the IOCs, the Federal Government and NOSDRA to save the lives of residents and their environment.
"Any faceless individual coming to create more anarchy in our region should desist and embrace peace, as we will not allow saboteurs to instigate unruly act here. We are ready to partner with the security forces to maintain peace in the Niger Delta"