06 August 2012, Sweetcrude, SAPELE— ABOUT three months after the oil spillage in River Ethiope, which devastated the flora and fauna of seven villages in Ovwore community in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, the villagers are still counting their losses.
Sweetcrude learnt that the river, which is the main source of livelihood for the villagers, had been polluted destroying over 500 fishponds, 2,000 palm trees and an unquantifiable number of livestock in Adagbrassa, Eko, Ogegere, Ibada, Egbeku, Okuesajere and Okuenenemuru villages of Ovwore community.
President and Secretary of the community, Mr. Monday Obonofieniro and Ekeleme Harrison, in separate interviews with reporters, said the spill emanated from a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC/ Pipeline Product and Marketing Company, PPMC pipeline, noting: “We have no drinking water as we speak.”
They called on the Federal and Delta State governments and Sapele Local Government Council to come to the aid of the victims with relief materials, as they could hardly survive because of the damage caused by the spill to their means of livelihood.
The community disagreed that villagers tampered with the pipeline and urged Federal Environmental Protection Agency, FEPA and other agencies charged with protection of the environment to take appropriate steps to alleviate their plight, adding
“River Ethiope, which is our source of water for cooking, drinking, fish and livestock has been polluted. Our farm lands have also been destroyed as a result of the oil spill and because of that, our crops and livestock are all dying every passing day,” they said.