Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

Shell Nigerian Oil Spill a National Disaster

06 Jan 2012

By John Iwori

As efforts to curtail the oil spill at Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company’s Bonga Facility continues, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has described the incident as a national disaster.

Describing it as the worst oil spillage to hit the country since 1998, the management of Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory body called for urgent assistance for the affected community, whose waters have been polluted.

According to the management of the agency, which is the eye of the global maritime watchdog, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Nigeria, millions of aquatic life forms, which the people of the affected communities depend upon for survival, have been destroyed as a result of the oil spill.

Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, stated this at a briefing in Lagos to give an update on the effect of the Shell’s Bonga facility.

Akpobolokemi, flanked at the briefing by top officials of the agency, including the Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Dr. Ishiaku Shekarau, said the management of the agency has been informed by Shell about the incident and the need for a joint visit to the facility.

He stated that the joint visit would comprise NIMASA and other government officials as well, and noted that the source of livelihood of the affected communities, especially fishing, has been greatly affected due to the impact of the oil spill.

The NIMASA Director General said besides the negative impact on peoples’ means of livelihood, they no longer have potable water to drink as their source of water has been polluted by the oil spill.

“Further to the report of the preliminary investigation conducted by the agency in respect of Bonga Oil field on December 21, 2011, NIMASA representatives were at the leak location assisting in the rescue effort of the victims of the coastal community within Delta and Balyesa states, namely Aage and Orobiri one and two communities. They used boats from Warri to scrutinise these areas.

“At age community it was the discovered that the oil spill has affected the entire community coastline. At Orobiri one and two the aquatic environment was completely devastated by the spill impact. Water samples are collected from these communities. We were informed by these communities that other government officials and state personnel had earlier visited the area as well,” he said.

He said if Shell was sure that there was spill from third party as earlier alleged, “why are they making frantic effort to get to these almost inaccessible communities.”

“As our technical crew approached these communities, the first thing that greeted them was the sight of coastline demarcated by oil leak and petroleum fumes. The community informed us that the spill drifted to this location on December 21, 2011”, he noted, adding that the community has embarked on personal effort to clean the affected area.

As part of the agency mandate, he told reporters that officials of the agency had carried out an over-fly of the area to observe the extent of the spread of the spill and the danger posed to marine flora and fauna.

He also said the agency’s team is currently at the spilled location to assess the response efforts to ensure strict compliance with relevant regulations.

He added that the agency was in contact with Shell and the Nigerian Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to ensure that adequate measures are put in place to prevent further degradation of the marine ecosystem.

SOURCE ARTICLE

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: