Omos Oyinbode, Asaba
Obodougwa-Ogume Community in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, over the gas flaring activities of Energia and Oando oil firms in the area.
In the petition signed by the Okpara Uku of the community, HRM Enebeli Okpor and five other community chiefs, the community said prior to the exploration of oil in the area, the community had enjoyed serene environment and depended only on the stream and well waters for their domestic uses.
The petitioners also said they had depended on ponds and lakes for fishing, fertile lands for farming, adding that their houses were roofed with zinc without experiencing instant rust or quick corrosion but with the emergence of Energia Oil and Gas since 2009, the land has been devastated and the ecosystem destroyed.
The petition read in part: “Since Energia Oil began gas flaring in our land, our zinc houses no longer last before corrosion. Due to the hazardous nature of gas flaring, the lives of our people are now in danger because of environmental toxic pollution which has led to several deaths among our people. The noise pollution has led to deafness among our people.
“Our people experience sleepless nights due to high temperature at night. All through these years, the oil firm has never provided anything for the community, no health care facilities in our community and our people are suffering but they are tapping money from our land.
“To worsen the situation, there has never been any EIA assessment report to our people before and after carrying out their operations in our area. Recently, we petitioned the oil firm to the presidency and other organisations on the damages being done to our land. The oil firm pleaded for the withdrawal of the petition and promised to pay damages to the affected farmers which up till now, they have not fulfilled”.
The petitioners called on the federal government and the Minister of Petroleum Resources to enforce the laws against gas flaring so as to save the community from the associated dangers with gas flaring and ameliorate the suffering of the people.