29 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Representatives of host communities impacted by the recent oil spill on the Trans Ramos Pipeline, TRP, in Aghoro community, Bayelsa State, want the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, to expand the scope of areas affected by the spill.
The communities claim that the spill had spread to wider areas and affected more places than the ones covered by the joint investigation team that inspected the spill.
Specifically, the Joint Investigative Visit, JIV, report was expected to unravel the cause of the spill, volume of oil discharged and the area adversely impacted, and volume of oil recovered in the spill incident as well as serve as a basis to determine compensation.
Shell confirmed that the JIV report was ready. However, representatives of some of the affected communities have refused to sign the report claiming some satellite communities were not captured in it.
“They (Shell) did not allow the JIV to be extensive. They excluded the satellite communities and fishing settlements.
“They only captured Aghoro 1 and 2, leaving other fishing settlements impacted by the crude oil that leaked into the waters. They recorded 33 acres for Aghoro 1 and 113 acres for Aghoro 2,” said Mr Sunday Benjamin, Chairman, Community Development Committee, Aghoro 1, who participated in the JIV.
The communities are, therefore, asking for an expansion of the visit to accommodate the neglected satellite communities.
Meanwhile, Director-General of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, Dr Peter Idabor, has said the JIV was “inconclusive”. “From the feedback from our officers in Yenagoa, the JIV is inconclusive,” Idabor said.
The oil spill on the Trans Ramos Pipeline, which occurred on May 17, 2018, leaked a yet to be ascertained volume of crude oil into the environment and polluted the river, farmlands and surroundings.