Avert looming humanitarian crisis, Ugborodo community tells Buhari

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Crude Oil polluted waterfront at Ogidigben Community

Ugborodo community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently step in to stop the brazen infractions of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC Pipelines in the area, noting that the indigenes are in great danger due to alleged indifference of SPDC.

A concerned indigene of Ugborodo Communities Mr. ErefoluwaKeka made the call in an open letter he signed made available to journalists on Tuesday in Warri.

The letter reads “As you read this open letter, the lives, assets and future generation of over 50 communities, hosting the network of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC Pipelines, particularly indigenes of Ugborodo in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, are in grave danger.

“Unlike the situation in Ogoni, Rivers State, wherein SPDC was accused of causing the monumental spill, the situation in Ugborodo Communities is largely due to the indifference of SPDC. This is despite series of public outcry and petitions written to the management of the Oil and Gas Major, especially by the Ologbotsere of Warri, Chief AyirimiEmami, to address the pollution of our community by illegal bunkerers and crude oil thieves.

“I consider SPDC’s failure to put an end to the unprecedented infractions on its pipelines as disheartening, insensitive and outright wickedness. It is not enough to mobilize contractors to remediate the lines after every spillage. The long-term impact of such pollution on our environment has very far-reaching effects. As coastal communities, our people are predominantly farmers and fishermen.

“Every episode of the oil spill from SPDC’s Pipelines and infrastructure into our land and waters further worsens the already pathetic situation of environmental degradation and pollution that has pervaded our land for decades, thus compounding the sufferings of our people, deprivation of our livelihood and the destruction of aquatic lives.

“This practice of SPDC to only remediate their pipelines, conduct a roughshod exercise in the guise of environmental clean-up and continue operations until the next spill happens and the circle continues in somewhat of a self-perpetuating system, is not sustainable, going forward.

‘I envisage a potential upsurge in pipeline infractions. The criminal elements prowl in search of vulnerable spots; hence the management of SPDC should be directed to take the necessary proactive, responsible, and timely approach to safeguard its network of pipeline and the in-field infrastructure.

“Sir, the upsurge of illegal bunkering activities in Ugborodo as witnessed by indigenes of the community and visitors, during the recent yuletide, was heart-rending and left one wondering if the lives of Ugborodo indigenes matter to the relevant government agencies and management of SPDC”.

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