08 August 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI—TRADITIONAL ruler of Idjerhe Kingdom, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, HRM, Erhiekevwe I, has appealed to the Federal Government to prevail on Shell Petroleum Development Company and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to urgently clean up River Ethiope, polluted by crude oil spill from their pipeline.
In the same vain, the Duke and President General of Amukpe in Sapele Local Government Area of the state, Deacon Edeki Believe and Mr Francis Eguegu, respectively, said the river was the only source of drinking water for the communities in the area.
HRM Erhiekevwe I, who said the people were suffering as a result of the spill, which occurred three months ago, urged the state government and members representing the constituency in the State House of Assembly to prevail on all concerned to come to the aid of the people.
Conducting journalists round the river through the Amukpe-Idjerhe axis, Deacon Believe and Eguegu expressed sadness that “the peoples’ means of livelihood had been destroyed by the spill.”
Both leaders lamented that many of their people were languishing in hospitals with severe pains arising after drinking from the contaminated water, which had also destroyed the aquatic lives and other edible crops planted on the banks of the river.
Eguegu appealed to government and the oil companies to provide materials and compensation to the people to address their predicament, saying the people could starve to death as they have nothing to eat.
He claimed that the families of two women and two children allegedly killed by the fire explosion last year, on the same river through spill from NNPC pipeline were yet to be compensated.
Former Secretary General of Idjerhe Clan Development Union, ICDU, Evangelist Flourish Agoda, also expressed worries that if urgent steps were not taken by the appropriate authorities to clean up the entire river, there could be another fire outbreak.