A day after the spill site of 7 November 2011 was clamped by Shell along the Rumuekpe-Okordia pipeline in Ikarama, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria [ERA/FoEN] again received calls from three persons in the community about a fresh spill. A member of the Izewari family of Ikarama was one of the three callers. This was on Saturday 12 November 2011.
The callers informed ERA/FoEN that a fresh oil spill has just occurred that morning. After asking few questions as to what they thought was the cause of the spill, ERA’s field monitors visited the community about two hours later to confirm the incident.
Shortly after arriving the community, a member of the Izewari family led ERA to the actual spill point and explained how they witnessed the spill. The ERA team was subsequently led to the impacted sites including farms and ponds where the crude oil had spread to.

The visit and observation is documented below :



Mr. Geoffery Beli….
This is the point where the crude oil was gushing seriously few hours ago. And it is the very first time such is happening at this very spot. It happened at about 10: 25am today, (12 November 2011). We suddenly saw the gushing of spill here and as you must have seen while going round, the spill has spread over 300 metres into the environment and has not only flooded our farms, it has impacted ponds, the swamp and economic trees. This, as you know will affect both the fauna and flora without any doubt. The damage will be huge. For now, the area impacted belongs to the Izewari family of Ikarama community, of which I am a member. Even my own pond is affected. We are lucky that this incident happened in broad day light, otherwise the pressure with which it was gushing initially would have continued for many hours and the crude oil would have spread even into the Taylor Creek. But because we informed Shell on time the company has lowered the pressure on the Adibawa Delivery Line. That is why you can see that it is only oozing now slowly now. We want Shell to promptly respond to this spill incident by making sure a properly constituted Joint Investigation Team [JIT] visits the site and impacted environment and report accordingly. We sure will need relief materials from SPDC, even as we demand for proper clean-up and remediation of the impacted environment and adequate compensation to the family. The Government and Environmental NGOs like ERA/FoEN should assist us to see that Shell does the proper thing on this matter.

Justice S.Odons…
This spill occurred just this morning of 12 November 2011 and I also went to see it when the pressure was high, spewing crude oil about two metres or so into the air. It was after that time that I called ERA to inform about the incident. From what I saw, this is one of the equipment failure incidents in this community. The grasses and soil around are clear indication of this fact; there are no signs whatsoever of digging to point towards sabotage. And, I think the Izewari family members are trying to ensure that the environment remains that way until Shell and the JIV team visits the spill site; hence they have used sticks to block both ends of the immediate site on the Adibawa Delivery Line to prevent people from tampering with the site, especially as farmers pass through that area to and from their farms. It was just yesterday Shell came to our community to clamp the site of the spill that occurred on the 7 November 2011. After the clamping, I think it was the sudden pressure that led to this spill. It is a clear case of corrosion on the pipeline…

Comrade Benjamin Warder, Indigene of Ikarama Community
It was around 11a.m today when I was informed that a spill has occurred along SPDC Adibawa/Okordia Delivery Line and that our farmlands have been impacted. I went there to witness it myself. It was a real spill, bubbling from about three different spots around the spill site. I saw that the crude oil had already spread into our cassava farms and everywhere in the swamp. From my observation the entire impacted land cannot be used for a very long time, if not even forever. Now let me say that oil spills have been occurring in this community long ago. I started hearing and seeing this since I was a child here. But the funny thing about most of the spills occurring in this community is that Shell has often come to tell us that the spills were as a result of sabotage. But this particular one is a clear matter that cannot be disputed even by a blind person. Everywhere was grass and the crude was just gushing out from the ground. That is why I will call on government and environmental groups to come and intervene in this matter to ensure that the truth and, nothing but the truth prevails. I expect Shell to come quickly and see the affected families and find solution to the matter. Izewari is one of the ten families in Ikarama community and, are the owners of the impacted land. This is to prevent problem arising between the family and Shell, owners of the pipeline.

One of the very first things ERA field monitors observed was the way owners of the impacted lands were interested in the real cause of the spill.
By their statements they left no one in doubt that they were interested in the cause of spill even before ERA was led to the actual spill site along the Adibawa-Okordia Delivery Line, about 150 metres from residences. Although there were no persons around the spill site at the time of the visit, some youths later gathered round to take a look at the spill site when ERA left the environment.
Even before the constitution and visit of any JIV team to ascertain the cause of spill, anybody who visits this spill site can attest to the fact that this is a case of equipment failure. From experience gained in the field, this is one of the most obvious cases that points to that fact: no signs of any clearing around the spill site, no signs of any digging, just some soft mud that was forced out from the ground with the crude oil and a spongy-like feeling on the immediate spill spot. And, the fact that the crude oil was gushing from three spots within the same spill site supports this point of reasoning because the top soil was still intact. The spill would have sprouted from one point only after the top soil around had been cleared through increasing pressure; especially if the spill had continued for up to a day or more with the initial pressure.ERA saw cassava farms, including newly germinating one flooded with crude oil that was still yellowish in colour. And in some spots in the farm, the thickness of the crude oil was up to 7 inches in depth. Apart from farms so impacted, the swamp, ponds and an area of about 30 plots of land was seriously impacted by the crude oil. As ERA was led around, the yellowish colour of the crude oil was observed under the grasses, plants and other vegetations around.
1    Shell respond promptly by visiting the spill site and affected families/community leadership of Ikarama.
2    A well constituted JIV team should visit the spill site which, must include representatives of Izewari family, the community, relevant agencies of government and Shell.
3    Apart from giving copies of the JIV report to the Eziwari family and community representatives, recommendations of the JIV team report should be adequate enough to address the impact. And as such, recommendations should be implemented fully by Shell and any other concerned government agencies.
4    To save the environment from too much damage, recovery of spilt crude, clean-up and remediation should not be delayed by Shell. And this should be considered by the JIV team.
5    Adequate compensation should be paid for damages to crops, impacted farmlands and general damages incurred by the victims of this latest spill.
6    The relevant agencies of Government and environmental/human rights groups should follow up this incident to ensure that Shell should full responsibility for this spill incident.     

Location: Ikarama Community, Okordia Clan in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State
GPS Coordinates:  Elev: 12m, N 05°09.241 ’, E 006°27.346 ’
Occupation: Farming and fishing are two main occupations of the people
Date of Visit: 12 November 2011

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ERA has recently received information that a group calling itself the "Niger Delta Coalition in the Diaspora" is still engaging itself in activities and communications giving the impression that it is linked with Environmental Rights Action (ERA).

This group issues out communications using ERA's headquarter address and mail box. We have never had any ties with this group and any views, comments or opinions expressed by them is not endorsed or authorized by any member of management or staff of ERA.

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