Residents of Okordia community in the Kalaba section of the Yenagoa Local Government Area have criticized Italian oil firm Agip for failing to arrest incessant spills that continue to cause massive pollution crises.
The condemnation came in the aftermath of a serious leakage from Agip’s pipeline that ravaged the Kalaba community.
"We are sick and tired of suffering from the negligence of Agip which does not do anything to stop these spills or to correct the damage, said a prominent member of the community.
Meanwhile, the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has also said its officials are overwhelmed by the high rate of oil spills in Bayelsa.
Musa Idris, the director of the agency’s Oil Spill Response Department, stated that NOSDRA was worried by the incessant spills recorded in the state in the past one year.
Reacting to the reported spill in Agip’s pipeline network, Mr. Idris stated that Bayelsa accounted for the most of the spills reported in the Niger Delta region.
He disclosed that 27 out of the 34 oil spills recorded in 2012, occurred in Bayelsa, adding that pipeline vandalism was also prevalent in the state.
Members of the Okordia clan said that, since February 20, 2013, crude oil had been leaking from six different points along the Agip pipeline that passes through the community.
Idoniboye Nwalia, the paramount ruler of Kalaba, said that the spills had been too frequent, and had caused significant environmental pollution, adding that no clean up activity had taken place in the area.
"It has been very difficult to cope with these spill incidents because you just wake up from sleep and hear about another fresh spill in the environment," he said.
He added that, "If the community knew the source of the problem, then we can strike at that point and correct it. So, without knowing the details, we may hazard a wrong guess."
Meanwhile, two sources in the community said that officials of Agip Oil Company had visited the spill site to clamp the leakage. But they added that the contractor had abandoned the site as the spill continued.