Field Reports

  • Thursday, 29th July 2010

    Location:  Ikarama Community, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
    GPS Coordinate…Elev: 14m, N 05®10.242’, E 006®26.648’
    Date of visit: 27 July, 2010

    INTRODUCTION:
    ERA/FoEN received an alert on a gas leakage and oil spill along Agip’s pipeline from Ikarama Community, Bayelsa State on the 27 July, 2010. ERA field monitors subsequently visited the site where gas was noticed escaping from the pipe. Some quantity of petroleum products was also noticed in the immediate environment spewing along with the gas.

  • Wednesday, 23rd June 2010

    Location: Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas, Zamfara State, Nigeria
    Date: 17-18 June, 2010

    HIGHLIGHTS
    •    Lead poisoning still a threat in local communities
    •    Communities water sources polluted
    •    Lack of awareness on impacts of chemicals (especially lead) suspected to cause deaths  
    •    Remediation plans by state government not visible in the area

    INTRODUCTION
    The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) in collaboration with the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) visited communities in three local government areas – Nassarawa LGA, Dareta Village in Anka LGA and Yar Garma in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State on June 17 and 18, 2010 following reports of human and animal deaths from exposure to high levels of lead from mined ore in the communities.
    ERA/FoEN embarked on the trip because of the seriousness of the reports coming from the area with regard to deaths recorded and the need for an independent verification of surrounding circumstances. We also sought to determine the extent to which the Zamfara State government had brought succor to the affected communities and executed its widely reported evacuation of lead-polluted layers of soil which was coordinated by the United States-based Blacksmith Institute. The trip was also to ascertain the possibility that communal water sources were affected.
    An important point to note is that media reports on the lead pollution disaster concentrated on mineral-rich Dareta Village which was the confirmed source of the leaded ore that polluted the other communities but mentioned less about the surrounding communities.
    In view of this, when monitors left Gusau, the Zamfara State capital for the fact-finding mission in the morning of Thursday June 17, we targeted Nassarawa where a large population of labourers involved in artisanal mining reside and Yar Garma which recorded most deaths.

  • Sunday, 13th June 2010

    ERA/FoEN's field monitor reports a serious leakage from an Agip Pipeline that was laid in the heart of Kalaba community, Bayelsa State, Nigeria this year. The noise from the leakage poses great fear of possible fire explosion to the people of the community.

    Agip take action now!

  • Friday, 4th June 2010

    Oruma [now called Yeba Ama] is an Ijaw community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. It is one of the communities upstream of the Kolo Creek. This community has facilities installed by Nigeria Agip Oil Company [Eni] and the Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC]. The pipelines of both companies run parallel to each other under the soil of this community, and at very close proximity; less than ten meters apart. In May, 2010, the first oil spill from a pipeline operated by Agip occurred. Illegal crude oil bunkering by unknown persons has been alleged to be the cause of this incident. Event though reports were swiftly made to the authorities at Agip, clean up is yet to commence.

  • Friday, 4th June 2010

    Going directly from a UNDP organised policy dialogue on natural resource conflicts to the proposed Calabar-Umuahia-Ajaokuta gas pipeline project revealed the stark difference between policy and practice.   As always, local interests are often discounted in the face of such projects with global interest in gas production and supply. The issue of natural resource ownership and control and the inherent contradiction in the federal government of Nigeria’s Land Use Act of 1978 continue to erode the rights of local communities to defend their livelihoods and environment. This scenario is currently being played out in connection to the proposed Calabar-Umuahia-Ajaokuta gas pipeline project that clearly undermines environmental concerns and local interests. The project with high risk impact will likely generate conflict because community concerns are being relegated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.  

  • Friday, 4th June 2010

    Highlights
    Violent clash between communities over land grabs

    This is the third time the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria [ERA/FoEN] is documenting this matter of attempts by some persons to acquire land expense of land at Biseni. ERA first issued at alert in February, 2010 and followed up with an update in April, 2010. Earlier reports indicated the united stance on the issue by the entire clan of Biseni; that they were not willing to give any portion of their forest/land to those seeking to possess it for an alleged tourism venture.

  • Saturday, 8th May 2010

    Highlights

    • Community lake polluted by oil spill.
    • Shell yet to effect clean up

    Introduction
    JK4, otherwise called Edagberi, is the 4th settlement of the Engene people of Joinkrama in Ahoada LGA of Rivers State. Some of its closest neighbours are Akinima [Headquarters of the LGA] and Biseni in Bayelsa State.

    JK4 owns over 40 oil wells operated by Shell. The community is faced with environmental hazards occasioned by gas flared from the Adibawa Flow Station and from incessant oil spills in the environment. These oil spills have been attributed to equipment failure as the pipelines are old and rusty. Only recently, some of these pipes laid over forty years ago were replaced along the Adibawa flow line that delivers crude to the Okordia Manifold.

  • Friday, 19th March 2010

    ERA FIELD REPORT 215

    Location: Opolo-Epie, along the Tombia/Amassoma road, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
    Date of Visit: 11th March, 2010

    INTRODUCTION
    On March 11, 2010 ERA’s field monitor visited the site where Shell is constructing a gas flare furnace at Opolo-Epie. This trip took a course by Shell’s Kolo Creek Logistic Base at Imiringi where gas has continued to be flared for many years.

    IN THE FIELD
    At Shell’s Imiringi Flow Station the presence of the Military Joint Task Force prevented the monitors from going close to the facility. Pictures of the gas flare could only be safely taken from the confines of the car.
    The story was the same at the new gas flare furnace site at Opolo-Epie. Security concerns prevented the field monitors from getting too close to make their observations. They however tried to get some photographs.

    OBSERVATION/CONCLUSION
     There is no doubt that Shell is constructing a new gas flare furnace at a time when the rest of the world is concerned about climate change and proffering ways to curb it. The Nigerian government has been shifting the deadline for gas flare stoppage in Nigeria because of oil companies’ influence. It is shocking to see that Shell is being permitted to construct a new gas flare furnace when they ought to be shutting down existing flare sites. We hope the relevant authorities will ensure this project is halted before it contributes further to the pollution and degradation of our environment.
     

  • Wednesday, 17th March 2010

     ERA Field Report # 216

     Location: Abesan in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos

     Date: March 16, 2010

    Highlights:
    •    More wells and boreholes turn up with petroleum products
    •    NNPC fails to take responsibility and provide alternative source of water for impacted     people
    •    Community people forced to patronize water vendors and unwholesome sources

    On March 15, 2010 residents of Abesan Estate and Baruwa community in Alimosho LGA of Lagos alerted ERA/FoEN on the need to help draw government attention to the dangers of large quantity of petroleum products they observed in their wells and boreholes.
    Although they had written to the Lagos State government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), up till that point, the attention of the general public had not been drawn to their plight.

  • Tuesday, 9th February 2010

    Location: Biseni clan, situated in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria
    Date : February 6, 2010

    INTRODUCTION:

    The people of Biseni clan are Ijaws administratively situated in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State. Their immediate neighbors include JK4[Edagberi] in Ahoada Local government area of Rivers state and Agbere community in Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa state. The clan is host to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company [Eni] and the Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC]. Accordingly, the area has experienced several oil spills and other negative practices of the oil multinationals. While the people of Biseni were still grappling with the negative consequences of oil spills and Oil Company policies that deny them of their rights, ERA received news that some persons have arrived the clan and were attempting to acquire large parcels of their arable land. ERA’s field monitors took immediate steps to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the matter. This was done in the interest of the communities considering the issues of Climate Change, Carbon Credit and speculators dispossessing the locals of their farming land for commercial farming.

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