Impact of the Nembe oil spill similar to the destruction of Hiroshima during the world war – Minister
Nigerian Minister of State for the Environment Sharon Ikeazor said the pollution caused by the Nembe oil spill in Bayelsa State, in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, is “massive” and cannot be compared to the impact of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War II.
“It was like a Hiroshima site,” she told reporters Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The spill put Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Exploration Company, an indigenous oil company, in the spotlight, and raised questions about the continued devastation of the environment in the Niger Delta by oil exploitation.
Toxic fumes were released into the environment and thousands of barrels of crude oil spilled into the waters for more than 10 days as Aiteo was unable to contain the leak that occurred on November 5 at its Nembe oil field.
Ms Ikeazor said she received a briefing on the spill from the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
âWhat I have seen in terms of pollutionâ¦ The devastation in the Niger Delta is massive,â she said. âWhile we are cleaning up, what we are cleaning up is tiny compared to the devastation going on. “
Saghir el Mohammed, director of press affairs at the Federal Environment Ministry, said on Tuesday that 3,000 barrels of emulsified crude oil had so far been recovered from the waters and kept in a recovery barge, after the leak. had been stopped.
Ms. Ikeazor calls for a review of the law establishing the NOSDRA so that oil companies can face more severe penalties in the event of pollution. âYou will see that maybe they will give a 100N fine, anyone can pay that and go back and re-pollute (the environment),â she said.
âThis goes beyond the oil companies who give palliatives, they must put in place measures to prevent such accidents from happening.
âWe must impose tougher sanctions, strengthen the capacities of NOSDRA, which is the regulatory agency for the oil sector, to be able to have the teeth to bite. Without building their capacity and reaffirming the legal framework, strengthening it, there is little they can do. These are areas that we are looking at, âshe added.
Ms Ikeazor also referred to Aiteo’s claim that the spill was caused by sabotage.
READ ALSO: Bayelsa government worried about Aiteo’s failure to check for oil leaks
âThey also claim that the spill was due to sabotage by local communities. We are going to have a targeted approach to illegal bunkering, falsification of oil installations and artisanal mining in the Niger Delta to secure alternative livelihoods for the youth of the Niger Delta to get there. stop because it pollutes the environment more. ,” she said.
Aiteo will report on destruction – Bayelsa government
The Bayelsa state government said last week that Aiteo would be required to “account” for the destruction caused by the spill.
âThe governor is gravely concerned that if the high volume of crude continuously dumped is not stopped immediately, it will spread to many other communities.
âThis will undermine the economic life of the inhabitants, who are mainly farmers and fishermen.
“(Gouverneur Douye) Diri warned Aiteo not to assume that this criminal negligence of his facilities and this disregard for human life and the environment, as evidenced by his conduct will not be explained,” said the commissioner to the State information Ayibaina Duba said in a statement.
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