Communities affected by the oil spills at the Bonga oil field of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) have solicited the assistance of the Federal Government, individuals and corporate bodies.
The communities, under the aegis of “Shoreline Communities of Nigeria’’, made the appeal in a news statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Warri.
The statement was signed by Mr Mathias Palimote, representing Lagos State; Mr Austin Ofoeyemo, Delta; Mr Jacob Palimote, Bayelsa; Mr Harry Fombo, Rivers; Mr Godwin Ojajune, Ondo State and Papa Bamigboye, Ogun.
The communities called for the provision of relief materials for them to cushion the effect of the December 2011 and July 2017 SNEPCo Bonga crude oil spills on the residents.
They alleged that the harmful chemicals which Shell sprayed to dispel the spills had contaminated the ecosystem, while disrupting the natural ecological resources and fishing activities in the affected communities.
“The spills have caused major sicknesses, deaths and hunger and have ravaged 730 communities in 21 Local Government Areas of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos States.0
“We are, therefore, appealing that the Federal Government, National Assembly, the European Union, the United Nations, the Central Bank of Nigeria and corporate organisations as well as the international community to come to our rescue.
“They should kindly and urgently intervene by assisting our communities and people with relief materials, fishing nets, accessories, boats, boreholes and health centres in each of the affected 21 Local Government Areas.
“The assistance will cushion the effect of the pollutants, pending the restoration of the contaminated natural resources, fishing grounds, dead aquatics and when Shell will pay compensation to our communities,” the communities said in the statement.