Group demands Shell’s clean-up of spills in Bayelsa community

Shell-Makes-Gulf-of-Mexico-Oil-Discovery25 March 2014, Abuja – Women Arise, a non-governmental organisation,  has urged Shell Petroleum Development Company to commence the clean-up of oil spills at Ikarama community in Bayelsa State.

The group said, in a statement by its President, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, yesterday in Abuja, that the community had suffered repeated oil spills and toxic fumes. According to the statement, the community recorded a spill from Shell facility about two months ago which left the area polluted.

The incident, the statement noted, led to the relocation of some inhabitants because of its impact, particularly on children. The statement accused Shell of evacuating crude using vacuum trucks and without any explanations to the community about goings on around them.

“This left the inhabitants anxious about what toxic elements they may be exposed to without their knowledge and without any warning.  But it must be said that farming, fishing and hunting in the community had never been hit as hard as they have been in the past weeks,” Okei-Odumakin said in the statement.

The group, therefore, demanded that Shell should immediately clean up the spills at Ikarama to the highest acceptable international standards. The women group also demanded that health officers should carry out health audit of the community. It said that the “offending” company be compelled to bear the costs of treating the victims, apologise to them and undertake not to “inflict a repeat of this assault” on the community.

“Relevant government agencies, including National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, should probe the immediate and remote causes of the burning of crude oil in the community. Shell should keep the community fully informed about their activities in Ikarama territory,” it said.

– Vanguard

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