Dr. Sodienye Abere An Associate professor of wild life at the university of Technology Port Harcourt and the chairman Bonny Environmental Consultant Committee in this interview gives a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the massive spill on marine ecosystem, people and Bonny environment in general.
The university Don blamed oil firm in the place, especially Shell Petroleum Development Company for what he described as Lackadaisic attitude and delay in intervention which he said lead to the massive spread of the spill. Abere called for quick intervention of government and for the immediate clean up of the Environment. Excepts.
History of spill in bonny
Since assuming the position of the chairman of BEC in Bonny we have experienced seven major spills and six of them belongs to SPDC and one belongs to NNPC. Of the SPDC’s, the most devastating, the highest, the widest in scope concerning spread and volume of crude let out in the Bonny environment is this August spill, August 2nd 2010 spill supposedly coming out from the Iloma loop line near the Cawthone Channel area of Bonny.
First of all we had to send out men to determine the extent and spread at the time and that took about the whole day. The reason is that when we got the information from the fishermen we though it was a minor spill but on getting there the men found out that it was such a huge thing and it was still gushing. They had to come back to get still camera and video so that they could catch the action and immediately we called on phone the SPDC community Relations Officer and other SPDC’s functionaries who did noting immediately but after some five days confirmed that the spill was coming out from their facilities. We now expected a joint inspection (JIV). We did in the other spills but this did not come, we were then forced to call the Local Government and other relevant regulators in the state. Precisely on the 11th we wrote a letter to follow up. The latter reminded Shell that after nine days of the spill and there is still no intervention or no calls for meeting to tell us proposed action, they supposed to take on the spill that we will be restrained to outline for them what they should do. The way the kingdom was thinking. We asked for immediate JIV to be conducted. We asked for relief materials to be distributed to the immediate sufferers, the fishermen who have been incapacitated and denied access to their means of livelihood by the spill. Cognizant of the fact that these people have families and the kind of suffering the men will be facing with their family members.