13 August 2013, Port Harcourt – Residents of Oloma community in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, have alleged health complications and injuries sustained from panic, following leaks in the community, from a gas pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company.
Though Shell claimed it had brought the leakage under control, Richard Abbey, Chairman, Organisation of Fishermen, Sea Food Dealers and Farmers in Niger Delta, OFSDF/ND, said that the company also needs to ease the impact of the gas leak on local fishermen and community members, who need to be catered for.
Abbey narrated that the Shell’s gas pipeline from Well 29 located in Oloma community got ruptured on August 7, venting gas, which flows into the environment and endangering the health of the people, said “The situation created panic, resulting in injuries among the people from fear that a slight spark could set off a explosion and fire outbreak. A Joint Inspection Investigation, JIV, carried out by the company and the communities indicated equipment failure.
“As I speak to you, some persons are complaining of pains on their chest and mid ribs, some, especially children sustained serious injuries in the attempt to evacuate human and materials out of the area against looming explosion,” he added.
An Oloma community leader, Asinyetogha Hart alleged that Shell’s continuous refusal to upgrade its pipeline facilities in Oloma community and Okoloma Lodge, had continued to pose environmental and health hazards to the inhabitants.
– Egufe Yafugborhi, Vanguard