The Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has sent an appeal to the Federal government for the establishment of specialized laboratories in some parts of the Niger-Delta region facing oil-spills.
The appeal was included in its report on the September 2017 oil-spill incidence at Agip’s 10” Tebidaba-Clough-creek pipeline in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.
It should be recalled that a clean-up exercise which was supposed to clear the oil leak, which discharged about 180 barrels of crude into the environment, was delayed until the Bayelsa Government intervened to resolve the disagreement.
Mr Marco Rodondi, District General Manager, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, the clean up was frustrated by the conflict between the community and Agip, which had currently reached the final stage.
To resolve this, the report urged the Federal and state governments and other interventionist agencies in the Niger-Delta region to set up specialised laboratories to facilitate the speedy resolution of oil spill pollution-related conflicts between oil firms and their host communities.
The report, signed by Alagoa Morris, Head of Field Operations at ERA/FoEN, said that the laboratories would conduct confirmatory tests by tracing sources of oil leaks and environmental toxicology tests to confirm clean-up of oil spill sites.
ERA/FoEN said: “There is a need for the Bayelsa Government to collaborate with the Federal Government’s interventionist agencies like Niger-Delta Development Commission and Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs on pollution cases. “These stakeholders should establish functional, standard science laboratories.
“This is with a view to making it easier for our communities and other individuals affected in connection with water, land and air pollution to get samples analysed.
“This is very critical because it will assist all stakeholders, clean-up contractors, impacted communities and oil companies concerned”.
“There is a need for soil and water samples to be collected from the disputed environment for scientific analysis; in view of the toxic nature of crude oil to the environment and the need for proper clean-up.
“All stakeholders, including regulatory agencies, oil firms and the community, should be involved in this exercise,” it concluded.