Environmental activists have raised alarm over Shell’s continued oil spills in Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta region, warning that the oil major should ensure that adequate measures are put in place to improve its operational procedures to end the incessant spillages.
They pointed out that with two major oil spills within a week in Rivers State, Nigeria, it is obvious that the oil companies were yet to show seriousness about ensuring that their facilities are in good working conditions, lamenting that it is quite alarming that rather than remediating the harms, more investments are being made to expand the areas of threat.
In a statement issued by the Media and Communications Lead of Home of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Kome Odhomor, they expressed concern that new investments in the fossil fuels sector and incessant new oil spills threaten to push the world into climate catastrophe and expose the wrong-headed pathway taken by nations when they gather at COPs for climate negotiations.
One oil spill was reported from a pipeline owned by Shell in Eteo Community on June 13, 2023, while another occurred in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday, June 18, 2023, in Oke-Olebo stream, which is the only source of fresh water for the community.
Executive Director of HOMEF and a member of Oilwatch Steering Committee, Nnimmo Bassey, said: “We have always advocated for a cleaner environment and we charge the Hydrocarbons Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to take into account the new oil spills that threaten to derail the ongoing cleanup process. Steps should be taken to ensure accountability by offending parties.”
Also reacting to the incessant spills, Coordinator of Oilwatch Africa, Salome Nduta, who expressed dissatisfaction over the action of oil companies in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, said: “Recently at the just concluded Africa Energy Summit held in UK, it showed that Africa is not just a geographical location but it is also a cow that should be milked dry for the gains of her captors. Polluters should be held accountable for loss and damage inflicted on communities in Africa.”
Oilwatch Africa, therefore, urged the Nigerian government to take charge and ensure the proper clean-up of polluted lands in the Niger Delta and payment of full compensations for damage suffered.
“As a group, we further charge all African governments to invest in renewable energy taking into consideration the true cost of extraction, which is causing more harm than good to her peoples,” the statement added.
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