ERA urges state govt to establish laboratory to resolve spillage incidents

ENVIRONMENTAL Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, has urged the state governments of the Niger Delta to establish world-class scientific laboratories to resolve oil spillage incidents in the region.

The group advocated this in its field report released on Monday following the return of Shell Petroleum Development Company to an oil spillage site in Edagberi/Betterland community in Ahoada-West Local Government Area of Rivers State.

ERA/FoEN in the report signed by its Bayelsa State Coordinator, Mr Alagoa Morris, noted that Shell returned to site about two years after abandoning the recovery of spilt crude oil on the impacted environment.

The incident, which occurred in July 2015 from Shell’s Adibawa Well 8 facility, reportedly devastated the ecosystem, particularly the flora and fauna.

About six months after the oil spill occurred, the affected area caught fire on January 20, 2016 soon after Shell officials allegedly visited the site and left.

The people of the community had accused Shell of setting the impacted area ablaze, an allegation the company vehemently denied.

ERA/FoEN contended that the establishment of standard scientific laboratories by the state governments in the region, either jointly or individually, would help in the testing of soil, air and water samples to ameliorate oil pollution incidents in the environments of host communities.

It stated, “This (setting up of scientific laboratories) will make the oil companies and their contractors to take such pollution, cleanup/remediation issues more seriously and certainly, our environment would become much safer.

“The Federal Government and the state interventionist agencies can partner in this very important venture in the collective interest of our people, communities and environment.”

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