Oil Spillage Contaminates Drinking Water in Rivers State, Families Raise Alarm
Families residing in Omuobizu, Omkpoba, and Mgbere communities of Emohua Local Government Area in Rivers State, Nigeria, have raised concerns about their underground water being contaminated by an oil spillage from the manifold operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the area.
The spillage from the oil facility reportedly occurred in 2014, but SPDC only discovered the extent of the damage after the crude oil had already polluted the underground water. As a result, the underground water in Omuobizu and Mgbere communities has been destroyed since 2015. There are also suspicions that the spill may have spread to other parts of Ibaa and Obele clans.
Residents have reported that their wells have been contaminated, making the drinking water unsafe due to the presence of crude oil. Despite reporting the issue to Shell and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the affected families have not received any conclusive report on the situation.
Princewill Chukwure, a resident of Chukwure’s family in Omuobizu, highlighted the impact of the spillage on their community and the difficulties they face due to the lack of clean drinking water. He called on both the state and federal governments to intervene and address the issue, as the volume of crude oil in their water and the stench in the air are adversely affecting the residents.
As of press time, SPDC’s spokesperson, Michael Adande, was unavailable for comment on the situation.