Fresh Shell Oil Spill Hit Ogoni Community

  • High Risk of Fire Accident as Spill Affect Residential Neighborhood

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has warned  against high risk of fire as fresh oil spill hit Bodo community in Ogoni. This is the eight spill to occur in the community of Bodo alone within the past two years. The fire which affected the neighborhood of Sugi in Bodo City of Gokana local government area of Rivers State occurred during the early hours of Wednesday, July 4, 2024 according to community sources.

Reacting to the incident, President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke expressed worries about the safety of residents as the spill spread into farmlands at very close proximity to residential areas and continues to flow around the neighborhood of the Patrick water front which is a residential area.

The MOSOP President called for urgent and immediate steps to contain the spills and called for an integrity test on the pipelines criss-crossing the Ogoni region and the entire Niger Delta at large noting that they are essentially death traps.

The spill according to community sources is caused by a rupture on the Trans Niger pipeline which passes through Ogoni to the Bonny export terminal. The pipeline is owned by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, the company which has been embroiled in a violent conflict with the Ogoni people over pollution. The conflicts escalated in early 100-s leading to the loss of an estimated 4,000 Ogoni lives.

Last week’s spill is one of several which has affected the Ogoni people through pollution that remains unabated. The consequences had been sustained conflicts and poor relations between the Ogoni people and the multinational oil companies especially Shell.

Social media videos on the spills showed that the spill has affected large portions of farmlands and residents were seen in those areas in what looks like their attempts to scoop the spills.

Crude oil is of no use to the residents and so the benefits or impacts of their involvement and scooping of the spills could not be ascertained. The videos however showed that although the residents were seen in large numbers at the spill site, they could not stop or limit the impact of the spills.

One source said the people were attempting to dig large wells to accommodate the spills and reduce its spread but that did not really stop the spread as the spill flowed.

At the time of reporting, the spill had not been contained by the operators of the pipeline, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. A source close to Shell said the company described the spill as a minor spill. 

But MOSOP says such a claim is insensitive to the impact oil spills have on the people. MOSOP president, Fegalo Nsuke says every oiil spill is damaging to the health of the people and the environment and no damage to the people can be described as minor.

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