04 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, weekend, donated relief materials and drugs worth N75m to victims of the flood disaster in Bayelsa State.
Also, the company deployed its medical personnel to the Bishop Dimeri Grammar School relief camp to complement the effort of the medical team from the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Pulo Shield and the state government.
The latest gesture is coming on the heel of the $1m largesse from SPDC and SNEPCo to the International Red Cross for displaced persons in the 24 states across the country.
SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu while handing over 12 trailer-load of relief materials, which consisted of rice, garri, beans, mosquito treated nets, water, palm oil and ground oil, mattresses, blankets, medical consumables among others to representatives of the Red Cross at the Gbaran-Ubie CPF said the gesture was part of the company’s support for flood relief efforts in the state.
“SPDC sincerely sympathizes with the flood victims on this tragedy,” he said adding that it would continue to identify with efforts geared towards mitigating their sufferings.
Reacting to the company’s perceived lateness in responding to the tragedy, he said, “we begun supporting relief efforts from the time we observed the tragedy- providing helicopter flights, geomatics expertise, satellite imagery and maps of affected areas to aid proper relief operations planning and execution.
“We have been considering difficulties in procuring and distribute relief materials. For example, we have been considering various options in getting materials to Bayelsa and Delta states because of access issues. We had to mobilise our health team to Yenagoa by air. But I’m happy that we are now able to give the materials.”
On why the company chose not to channel the donation through the state government, “we are working with all stakeholders to ensure the sufferings of the people are ameliorated. We believe the Red Cross is the foremost humanitarian agency worldwide, and we believe we can work with them and others to bring some succour to our people.”
Receiving the items, the state chairman of Red Cross, Chief Monovie Ogbara assured the company that the items would be judicious dispense to ameliorate the sufferings of the flood victims.
Chief Ogbara described Bayelsa as the worst flood affected state in the federation and called on other multinational companies to the emulate the kind gesture of SPDC.