Reps call for clean up of ravaging oil spill in Delta community

The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for immediate clean-up of oil spill ravaging Ovade-Oghara community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ben Igbakpa who expressed displeasure over the oil spill which ravaged substantial part of the community on the 1st October 2019.

To this end, the House mandated authorities of Nigeria Energy Security Command (NESC) and National Oil spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to identify the spillage sources, respond quickly to contain the spillage, and clean up the affected quarters in Ovade-Oghara community in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State which hosts Pan Ocean Flow Station with over 50 operational wells spanning over 47 years.

In his lead debate, Hon. Igbakpa who called for the intervention of the House observed that “a close inspection of the oil spillage reveals that it was a result of a ruptured pipeline because there was no sign of digging yet the spillage is coming from the ground which suggests an old pipe”.

“The House notes further that the said oil spill has affected a total of three quarters in Ovade community, destroying farmlands, crops and aquatic lives.

“The House is concerned that the said oil spill which resulted from a ruptured oil facility has continued till this moment unabated.

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“The House is also concerned that whereas the Ovade-Oghara leadership has made frantic efforts to reach the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation, Pan Ocean and Chevron with a view to containing the spillage, the above oil companies operating in the area have all neglected, refused and/or failed to claim ownership of the said ruptured facility.

“The House notes further that since the occurrence of the spill in Ovade-Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area, the Leadership of Ovade-Oghara community has reported the incident to security agencies in order to secure the facility and prevent people from taking advantage of the unfortunate incident to vandalise the property.

“The House is disturbed that the debilitating effects of the oil spillage in Ovade-Oghara could include fire outbreak and the attendant carnage, the contamination of water and soil, health issues such as serious respiratory problems, increased blood pressure, stomach irritation, muscle weakness, changes in nerve reflexes, liver, kidney and heart damages, as well as general environmental issues,” he noted.

The House also called on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to as a matter of urgency ensure the free treatment of respiratory and other related ailments associated with the oil spillage and provide relief materials to the victims of the oil spillage who have lost their farmlands and sources of livelihood.

To this end, the House mandated the Committee on Petroleum Upstream to interface with the community leaders of Ovade-Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area as well as the oil companies operating in Ovade-Oghara community with a view to addressing the effects of their operations in the community.

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