Bayelsa community raises alarm over oil/spill gas leakage

Samuel Oyadongha

7 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – The people Kalaba community in the Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State have raised fresh alarm over an oil/gas leakage from a ruptured pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company NAOC).

Kalaba community which is situated between Ayamabele and Ikarama communities, all of which are settled along the Taylor Creek is traversed by Agip pipelines and had experienced several oil spills/gas leaks in recent times.

Though the immediate cause of the latest oil spill/gas leakage could not be ascertained but the natives said it was noticed last week by some women while going to the farm.

Thick gaseous substance spraying into the air could be noticed yesterday as the natives took the Environment Rights Action team led by its field Coordinator in Bayelsa State, Comrade Alagoa Morris and others round the impacted area.

A disturbed Comrade Alagoa Morris said, “the rising and falling sound from the pressure with which the crude oil was spewing (more of gaseous form) into the environment was frightening.”

He noted with sadness that area could go up in flame if urgent steps are not taken to clamp the leaking pipeline.

“Instinct continues to warn visitors that anything can happen, especially fire; as the whole air around was saturated with crude oil fume. Besides the crude oil fumes in the air, pools of crude oil could be noticed around the environment,” he lamented adding, “fire outbreak is possible if there is any spark within the point zero zone (the impacted area).”

The ERA Field Coordinator in the state called on Agip to, as a matter of urgency, mobilize to site and clamp the ruptured spot even as he pleaded that a Joint Investigation Team be constituted to ascertain the cause of spill before clamping is effected.

“Agip should fellow clamping with immediate clean-up of the impacted environment. After clean-up, remediation should follow and the relevant authorities and stakeholders should ensure Agip does the right thing and, at the right time,” he said.

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