• Shell's Manifold blows out in July, 2007
  • Shell scoops crude but refuses to cleanup till date.

Ikarama, located in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, is a community of subsistence fishing and farming people whose livelihoods depend primarily on their environment. It plays host to Shell's Okordia manifold. One feature it shares with so many other host communities in the Niger Delta region is the plethora of spill sites that dots its landscape.


On the 22nd of July, 2007, the manifold failed, spewing many barrels of crude into the immediate environment. However, according to the community residents, prior to the blowout, there was a leaking valve in the manifold. On the 26th of July, a Joint Investigation Team started work to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the blowout. This team also included officials from Shell.


According to an eye witness and community representative in the Joint Investigation Team [JIT], Chief Mission D. Neberi, "the team discovered that it was a blowout from a faulty valve inside the manifold. The actual date of the incident was 22/07/07, but before then there had been warning signs before the incident. Though the JIT started work on the 26th on July 2007, the team discovered that the valve was still leaking or dripping oil and this was stated in the JIT report. The document which we signed indicated an estimated 50 barrels leaked out. Shell later came and carried out recovery, scooping some of the oil, but actual cleanup has not been done till date.
After signing the JIT report, that is, I, the representative of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Ministries of Environment, Shell refused to sign at the site. Shell initially insisted they would only sign later on. But when they saw the stiff resistance by other members of the team, they signed their column. After they reluctantly signed, the other members of the team followed Shell up to Port Harcourt and picked up their copies. We, the community could not go for our copy immediately. And when nothing was heard from Shell about the spill, as it relates to cleanup, remediation and compensation, the community approached Shell to know how far, only for Shell to tell us that someone from our community had told them the spill was caused by sabotage. On hearing the above we mounted pressure on SPDC to hand us our copy of the JIT report. At first they tried to be very stubborn, but when we seized a vehicle belonging to one of them, they later released the document to us. We now have it with us and are ready to go to any length with SPDC."
For Madam Ayibakuro Warder, a community [women's] leader, "Our community may not be as beautiful as the city, but our farmlands should be spared us by Shell. Our land is the only major resource upon which our livelihood depends and we will appreciate it if Shell should understand what it means to pollute the land upon which we so depend. If you go round our bush you will discover that very soon we shall be left with no land to farm. This is our plight. I very much appreciate your organisation [ERA], for coming to at least show concern. Anybody or group that can reach Shell or has the power to influence them should please tell Shell to come and clean up the environment they have polluted. They should carry out such measures that will make our land regain its original nature, and also pay compensation. We have been crying for the past seven months for the clean up."


  • Shell should mobilise to site to properly clean up their spill.
  • Remediation and adequate compensation should be paid to the community.
  • The Ministries of Environment [State and Federal] should stop playing lip service to the outcomes of Joint Investigation team reports but  follow up to ensure enforcement of findings and recommendations.

4.     Communities should always demand for copies of JIT reports at the end of every investigation.

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