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Divestment: Clean Your Pollution First – Group to IOCs

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The oil bearing and host communities in the Niger Delta region, have demanded for cleanup and restoration of polluted environment in many communities in the region before divestment by oil multinationals.

This was part of resolution made at a town hall and stakeholders meeting organized by Kallop Humanitarian and Environmental Center with support from Lush Charity Pot to strengthening the capacities of oil bearing communities for environmental justice in Ibeno community in Akwa Ibom state and Biseni Clan in Bayelsa State.

The communities decried the effect of IOCs decades activities which caused environmental pollution that has destroyed the very means of livelihood, causing rampant death of both human and livestock in their community.

Speaking on behalf of the communities’ paramount rulers, council of Chiefs and Elders, men, women and youth groups, they expressed their dismay over the sad environmental situation experience in their communities amidst the IOCs divestment plan.

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The Chief of Ibeno Community in Ibeno LGA, Chief David Odiagili, stated that they have not been consulted as a critical stakeholders who suffered many years of crude oil spills and air pollution from the activities of the oil companies operating in the region by the IOCs or the national companies who are buying the facilities neither the government.

“We only received the negative effect of the oil business. Oil companies are mining the oil and collecting billions of dollars why spilling oil, emitting hydrocarbon and poisonous gas into my environment”.

The paramount ruler lamenting the community neglect by the government and the IOCs, said that there is no basic amenities in the community as the communities does not have good school, electricity or potable water.

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He said that his people are dying as a result of the pollution.

In the same vain, His Royal Highness, Chief Clarkson Ndiwari, the paramount ruler of Akpidetoru community in the Biseni Clan in Bayelsa state, said that the community was enjoying it rich natural resource and diversity until the advent of Shell and Agip activities that has destroyed the community aquatic live, animals and human beings.

He said if they want to divest their business then they should restore our environment before divestment.

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The communities however expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement by IOCs to divest their entire Nigeria joint venture portfolio from the Niger Delta on-shore and swallow waters without consultations with the oil bearing communities and address the issues of environmental pollution caused by their operations in the region.

“This plan does not go on well with the oil bearing and host communities as the communities has not been engaged in any discussion regards remediating of the degraded environment and the well-being of peoples.

“The communities are afraid that the IOC’s are hurriedly selling off assets and leaving without addressing key environmental concerns of the communities and attempting to avoid the environmental responsibility as many communities in the region are in a total environmental mess. The Niger Delta communities has bears the burden of oil exploitation, facing deprivations due to environmental degradation and loss of means of livelihood.

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“The ecological degradation caused by oil extraction has impacted negatively on the community economic activities, leading to more hardship and increased poverty in the region”, the statement further.

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