Location: Ebocha Community in Ogba/Egema/Ndoni Local Government Area Rivers state.

Ebocha Community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State is home to Agip’s  Ebocha, Obrikom  and Obiafu Oil and Gas Facility. The people of Ebocha are from the Ogba speaking tribe in Onelga. The community is rich in natural gas and hosts the state-owned gas turbine facility. The community is adorned with several gas stacks which litter around the community with three huge and active stacks. The Ogba people are predominantly fishermen and farmers and depend on the little streams including the Orashi River as source of water for the community.ERA monitors visited the community on the 22 August following a report of a fire incident on the Obiafu Obrikom Road. According to witnesses around the scene of the unpleasant incident claims that the bus and the driver were burnt, on reaching the spot, ERA monitors met staff of Agip replacing the alleged leaking pipe that caused the incident. Agip met staff on sight and question about the incident, told ERA monitors that there was a pipe leaking gas that was ignited by the commuter bus conveying women to the market  in  the early hours of 21th august 2010. Agip staff told ERA monitors   that the driver of the bus was rescued on time and he is in an hospital in Omoku.

Elder Dandy Mgbenwa , member of Community Development Committee of Okwuzi Community.
“I am a member of the Niger Delta Development Initiative. The Ebocha oil centre belongs to the Okwuzi community specifically the Umu-Ohuu Villa. It has four flowing stacks and this flow started from 1970 till date. Most of these pipelines are very old and have been there for more than 30 years or more so they need urgent repairs because there are leaks all over the place. There are more than a hundred leaks within Ebocha and across the Orashi River and other areas. Within hundred meters you can see six leaks and this caused  a fire that occurred on Saturday 21 August 2010. The fire was as a result of the leakage on the pipeline from Obiafu oil field going towards the gas plant at Obi-obi. These leaks have been there for a long time and are very close to the roads. When women go to farm and markets they pass through there. Unfortunately, one of the vehicles that was transporting these women and farm produce  was passing through the road  during the  leaks and it now gutted fir. The driver of the bus with registration number Lagos XF789LSK died while other passengers in the bus sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Omoku.  These pipes have been there some of them are more than 30years old. There is need for Agip to change these pipes urgently because what happened now will happen again.Anybody who passes there will know that this is a time bomb waiting to explode and nobody knows who will be the next victim.”

ERA monitors observed that on the way to the scene of incident, the surface pipes all the way from Ebocha to Obiafo /Obrikom Road which is an 18 kilometre stretch were all leaking gas into the air. Fifty-four of such points leaking gas were observed by ERA monitor, some are less than 1000-metres from Ebocha gas plant. Agip only changed the spot that has caused fire outbreak. On an hourly basis, bikes and commuter buses ply the road and the danger of another fire is very visible going by the busy nature of the road.

1.    Agip should as a matter of urgency begin the changing of all pipes in the Ebocha/Obiafu  Obrikom Oil Fields.
2.    Agip should with other agencies carry out a comprehensive Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report.
3.    Proper compensations should be given to the affected victims of Agips negligence.

•    Send a letter to your legislator (Local Government, State and Federal) to call Agip to order.
•    Demand a cleanup of the swamps and farmlands affected by the slick from Agip facility
•    Write to Agip offices and demand that it stops all leakages in their facility and remediate impacted lands and pay compensation to the community folks.

Green Hotlines
Green Hotlines
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