Environmental Testimonies

  • Be wary of coal mining deal with Jindal, ERA/FoEN cautions Nigerian Govt
    Tuesday, 1st April 2014

    The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has cautioned the Federal Government from going ahead with a rumoured deal with Jindal Power and Steel India to revitalize coal mining in the country, describing the rumour, if true as “a bad omen” for communities already suffering environmental impacts of mining in Enugu and other states where coal is mined.

    Media reports last week indicated that the Nigerian government may have tipped the Indian firm to tap the country’s coal vast mine deposits. ERA/FoEN aversion to the plan is predicated on news indicating that Jindal operations in other parts of Africa continue to impact communities.

  • SPECIAL REPORT ON WILMARLAND GRAB IN CROSS RIVER STATE
    Wednesday, 5th March 2014

    The Cross River state government in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria has handed over vast hectares of land to Wilmar international in its bid to revive the oil palm industry in the state and to restore its past glory. The State government has so far handed over the Calaro Oil palm estate and the Ibiae oil palm estate. It has also transferred its interests in large tracts of land in Biase Local government area to Wilmar international.

    Photo 1: Nurseries being developed at Biase

    The cross River State government says that it will ensure that Wilmar has access to a minimum of 50,000 ha of land on which to cultivate palm plantation within a five year period. Wilmar international l has further to this formed a joint venture partnership with PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC to process the palm oil that would be produced from the estates into products.
    Wilmar has so far acquired 30,000 ha of land and has established nurseries at 3 locations- Calaro, Ibiae and Biase palm estates. The Biase estate measuring about 8,660 ha is forested land while Calaro and Ibiae oil palm estates were acquired from the state government following a privatization process.
    During our visit to the Biase palm estate in March 2013, massive forest land clearing operations were being carried out and large nurseries were being developed. At the other estates heavy equipment were being used to clear old palm oil trees from the land to enable the replanting of new stock from the nurseries.

  • SPECIAL REPORT: Kaiama indigenes cry out as loggers decimate economic trees in the environment
    Wednesday, 5th March 2014

    Accessibility: Kaiama is easily accessed by land
    Occupation: Fishing, farming and hunting folks
    Date of Visit: 03/11/09

    INTRODUCTION

    Kaiama is an Ijaw town in Kolokuma/Okpokuma local government area of Bayelsa State settled along the Nun River. The community is famed for its being the home town of Isaac Adaka Boro and his comrade, Samuel Owonaru. This was also the community where Ijaw youths gathered and came out with the famous Kaiama Declaration which dwelt so much on resource control.
    Some of Kaiama’s neighbours include Opokuma, Kalama and Odi, all in the same LGA. Although some form of hunting is being carried out by the people, the people are predominantly fishing and farming folks. At certain seasons of the year, like in most other Ijaw communities, they also gather the fruits of certain trees around them which they process either for sale or domestic use at home; hence these trees are considered economic trees throughout Ijawland. These economic trees include the oil palm, Bush mango [Ogbono tree] and a tree locally referred to as Unya tree.

    Following a call from the community that loggers have started and continued the act of cutting down these economic trees in the environment, ERA’s field monitor visited the community to investigate the matter on the above date. The outcome of that visit forms this report.

  • Field Report 337: Illegal Structures BlockWater Channels in Rumuodomaya Community
    Friday, 19th July 2013

    Heavy down pour on Friday, June 28th 2013 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capitalbrought a lot of pain toresidents of some parts of the metropolis. Houses were submerged after the rain and properties worth millions of naira lost especially in Diobu axis of Port Harcourt. Some streets affected were Chidi, Amaewhule and Jesus Avenue all in Rumuodomaya Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.

    Thorough investigation by ERA/FoEN field monitor however revealed that the root cause of the flood was blocked water channels between Chidi and Amaewhule Streets and a giganticfence built across the two streets by a highly placed politician were the causes.
    Residents of the affected streets complained bitterly and lamented their suffering arising from prevalence of stagnant water in the streets mentioned above.

  • Field Report 278:Another spill from Agip pipeline devastate swamps in Ikeinghenbiri
    Wednesday, 26th October 2011

    GPS Coordinates:  Elev:-22m, N 04°43.139’, E 005°59.739’ [the community]

    Ikeinghenbiri is one of the communities of Olodiama clan in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. It is located along the Ikebiri River and two of it’s closest neighbours are Ikebiri and Korokorosei. Fishing and farming are the main occupations of the people. They also engage in hunting and logging activities and; depending on their immediate environment for sustenance.
    ERA field monitor visited the community on 23 October 2011, following a Save Our Souls (SOS) from the community about a recent oil spill that polluted their swamp thus threatening their livelihood.
    ERA field monitor was conducted round the impacted sites by the Chairman of the Community Development Committee [CDC], Mr. Marshall J.Amabebe and another indigene, Mr. Aganbite S.Akpoku.

    Testimonies from other community leaders and folks are documented below:

  • FIELD REPORT #272: Iwaye/Oke Lapini and Ogbere Communities Challenge Quarries in Ogun State Communities
    Wednesday, 21st September 2011

    “..Milatex is a problem we are praying to be liberated from. We have made efforts to get the company to respect our right to a healthy environment but the way they operate with impunity shows that they have the support of some influential people in government who do not care about the impacts of this dangerous activity. You will be so surprised about the impacts of the vibration of the earth on houses. Even my own house currently under construction has started showing cracks. In spite of several letters written, they have refused to listen to us…” High Chief Salako Williams, secretary, Ogbere Community

  • Sunday, 13th March 2011

    “Even though the spills occurred in 2008, Shell has not mobilized to clean-up the impacted sites and, this is not good for us and the environment. We expected Shell to have done the clean-up and follow up with remediation since, but that has not happened. The spills here have always been due to old, rusty pipes and, Shell knows this fact very well. We want Shell to come and clean-up the impacted sites. We are also not unaware that it was Shell that instigated the setting of the sites on fire; otherwise how come that these two sites that are far apart will all be gutted by fire within the same period?

    -Solomon Titus, Indigene of JK4 [Edagberi]

  • Monday, 19th October 2009

    Field Report #211

    16 October 2009


    Six days after the fire incident Chevron called for a meeting with community leaders at Okpuekaba community (this community also has an oil field). We went there and they brought boom materials which was handed over to us. We took it expecting them to send skilled personnel to go with us to fix it but to our greatest amazement they left us to do it ourselves. As leaders we felt if we leave the spill unchecked our people would continue to suffer, so we went ahead to do it to the best of our ability. – Barrister Jide Nana

    INTRODUCTION

    The people of Ojumole are predominantly fishermen.
    Ojumole community is close to Omuro community and both host Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) oil facilities.

    ERA Monitor reached Ojumole after a 45minutes speedboat ride from Ugbo-nla, Ilaje.

    This field visit was carried out to assess the level of damage done by the fire outbreak that occurred on the 3 October 2009 at a Chevron facility at Ojumole. It was also to ascertain the response of the oil giant to this severe incident.

    OBSERVATION

    During the visit ERA monitor observed that the spill and the resulting fire from the facility destroyed much vegetation on the path of the fire, many fishing lines and nets, and some buildings. The river was awash with crude. The only visible response from Chevron was a boom the company sent for community use in containing the spill. There was no assistance of any sort from experienced personnel. Efforts to remediate the spill are yet to start almost two weeks after the incident.

  • Monday, 3rd August 2009
    Shell at Ikarama: Hiding oil spills by turning the soil

    Location: Ikarama community, in Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa State

    INTRODUCTION
    Available statistics and reports show that Ikarama community, one of the six towns settled along the Taylor Creek that make up Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area, has the highest oil spill related incidents in Bayelsa state. Last year [2008] for instance, between June and December, the community experienced five oil spills at different sites. This year, four of such spills have also occurred, two of which happened as a result of equipment/ operational failure inside the Okordia Manifold of Shell. As would be expected, the several spills have rendered much of the people’s land, swamp, lakes, and ponds useless; these spill sites are more or less derelict spots in the community.
    Despite the obvious need for Shell to clean up and remediate these polluted sites and sustained advocacy campaigns by environmental groups like ERA ,Shell went ahead to make false claims early this year that it had commenced clean up of oil spill sites in the community since last year. Viewing the above claim as not only false but a misrepresentation of facts by Shell, ERA took steps to debunk the falsehood, even as community folks also expressed themselves through the media to present the facts.

  • Monday, 3rd August 2009
    More Oil Spills From Shell’s Okordia Manifold Location: Ikarama Community, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State

    Introduction
    Ikarama community is one of the six towns that make up Okordia clan, in Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa State. This community, which is situated along the Taylor Creek, is host to Shell Petroleum Development Company and Nigeria Agip Oil Company [ENI].The community has also been described as the community with the highest frequency of oil spills in the state, with several oil spill impacted sites lying waste in the community.

    All the oil spills recorded in Ikarama have resulted from Shell’s facilities, that is, either from pipelines or from the Okordia Manifold sited in the community. ERA’s field monitor visited Ikarama on July 12, 2009 following report of two recent oil spills. Below are testimonies from community folks.

    Mrs. Ayibakuro Warder [Women Leader]
    “We are actually getting tired of talking about these endless and devastating oil spills in our community. The worst of it all is that, whether it is genuine or sabotage [as they usually claim] Shell has never paid compensation to our people for the damages caused our land and water resources; as well as other properties. The two recent spills were as a result of equipment failure. It is sad that Shell treats us the way they do. We can not use oil spill impacted sites for anything. In July 2007 a spill resulted from equipment failure at Okordia Manifold. Now we are experiencing another spill from the same place for the same reason. I really don’t know exactly what to say anymore. What I know is that we need help to get justice from Shell”.

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Disclaimer!

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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Is there a spill, pipeline rupture, fire, gas flare, water, land or air pollution in your community or one you know about? Do you need assistance to respond, and prevent future occurrences or have you noticed any activity that threatens the environment?

In the event of any ecological disaster or threat to the environment, call our toll-free GREEN LINES:  08031230088 & 08031230089

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