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Massive oil spill wrecks havoc in Bayelsa community, pollutes Peremabiri River, Creek

By Alambo Datonye

An oil spill from the Diebu Creek Flow station at Peremabiri town in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has discharged a yet to be ascertained volume of crude oil into the river.

The incident is reported to have occurred on October three this year from a pipeline under the river operated by multinational giants, Shell Petroleum Development Company.

The natives and fishermen in Peremabiri are calling for immediate clean up of the environment.

Peremabiri located along the Nun River is one of thirteen settlements that make up the Bumo clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

It used to play host to the Irrigated Rice Farm Project established by the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority in 1962, then projected to be the largest rice farm in West Africa.

The town which has about 16 oil wells is the location of the Diebu Creek Flow station operated by the SPDC which injects crude oil into the Trans Niger Pipeline.

An underwater oil spill since October 3 this year is at the moment discharging volumes of crude, polluting the creek and the Nun River, swamps and farmlands, causing hardships to the predominantly fishing and farming town.

Youth President of Peremabiri, Mr. Benjamin Ibinibo and one of the affected farmers, Mrs. Yenimi Timipre said the spill at the Diebu Creek has wreaked havoc on the water and crops, urging SPDC to ensure proper clean up of the area.

The Assistant Women Leader, Favour Morgan and the Chairman of the Community Development Committee, Mr. Basil Young lamented that despite oil exploration and exploitation activities in Peremabiri since the late nineteen fifties, the town lacks basic amenities and have continued to suffer the effects of spills.

Programme Manager of the Environmental Rights Action and Head of the Bayelsa office, Mr. Alagoa Morris said it was unfortunate that the multinational company has yet to reach out to the community and clean up the spill weeks after the spill occurred.

As of the time of visiting the spill site, a Joint Investigation Visit has yet to take place as stakeholders urged the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA to ensure that the company embaks on proper clean up and compensation for vctims.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) confirmed the oil spill from its facilities at Peremabiri community.

Spokesperson for SPDC, Mr. Michael Adande in a statement Friday says a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to the incident site to unravel the cause and volume of oil discharged was underway.


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