Dumping of chemicals: Group wants FG to stop SPDC
The Centre For Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and other stakeholders, to prevail on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to halt the dumping of hazardous chemicals into Sokebolou and Yokiri waterways in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
The National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Mulade Sheriff, in a statement stated, that the attention of the rights group was drawn to the menace and investigation carried out clearly showed that SPDC deposited some unnamed hazardous chemicals into Sokebolou, Yokiri Obotobo 1 & 2, and other communities’ waterways at Ogulagha Kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of the state.
He disclosed that the chemicals had constituted health hazards to the people and had led to the destruction of aquatic organisms in the waterways.
The group said it gathered from some leaders of the communities, among which are Prince Churchill Dose, chairman, Sokebolou community and Engineer. Moses Ibilou, chairman Yokiri community that the deadly chemicals were deposited by SPDC Jack-up rig operations activities at its WELL 73.
It added that the poisonous substances had resulted in the death of fishes and other aquatic organisms in the vwaterways.
“The leaders also stated that their lives are no longer safe in the communities as their people are coming down with complex health challenges due to the deposited chemicals.
“They said the chemicals have been killing fishes in their waterways and more frightening is that the people from within and other areas are coming to Sokebolou, Yokiri and Obotobo 1 and 2 communities waterways to pick up fishes killed by the dangerous chemicals,” Mulade noted.
CEPEJ, therefore, called on the Federal Government, NOSDRA, the Delta State government, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and other relevant regulatory bodies to order SPDC to stop the ongoing environmental pollution.
The group also enjoined SPDC to immediately provide relief materials to affected communities to cushion the effect on their health and means of livelihood.
“We also want health related agencies to assess the impact of the chemicals on the environment, the inhabitants and aquatic animals through environmental social impact assessment, to ascertain the level of damage done to the people and the area,” the group pleaded.
As of the time of filing this report, SPDC’s media officials, who were contacted via WhatsApp, were yet to respond.