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Bayelsa community raises the alarm over gas pollution

By News Express on 24/12/2016

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Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson.

 

Residents and indigenes of Tombia Community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have reported air pollution suspected to have emanated from oil and gas facilities located near the community.

They decried poor air quality in communities surrounding the Gbarantoru gas plant.

It will be recalled that a thick soothe was reported to be hanging in the atmosphere in Port Harcourt earlier in the month.

Mr. Seigha Akoko, Community Development Committee Chairman of Tombia said that the development had adversely affected respiratory functions of residents in the past few days.

He said subjects had reported the pollution of air in the areas surrounding the gas facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to the leadership of the communities.

Akoko said: “Our people and subjects have reported the pollution of the air around us here in the past few days, leading to respiratory complications and we have noticed several birds dropped from the air and dieing.

“The paramount ruler has summoned his cabinet and other levels of community leadership and the issue of deteriorating air quality was exhaustively discussed.

“We do suspect that it might be from the gas plant around us at Gbarantoru so we want the relevant government agencies to investigate and come up with results. Apart from the air pollution, effluents from the facility has made the water toxic and wiped out the fish stock.

“A lot of strange things happen along the Taylor creek, the waters no longer grows fish as used to be the case before the gas plant started operations.

“We want air quality tests to be conducted while those having respiratory difficulties should be studies to trace the source; the problem is that we do not have access to most of the tests conducted in the past.

“Our fear is that the toxicity level here is higher than the tolerance limits and we do hope that the studies are conducted fast.”

A correspondent who visited the community on Friday reports that some residents in the area attributed respiratory difficulties they faced to the suspected air pollution.

“I have been noticing difficulties with breathing and feel pains in my lungs for the past three days, and some other people have complained of the same symptoms. I am going to seek medical attention after the holidays,” a Tombia resident said on Friday.

Mr. Precious Okolobo, Media Relations Manager at SPDC, said that the air pollution was not from the company’s gas processing and gathering faculty.

He said: “There is not air pollution from our Gbarantoru facility; the plant is running efficiently. Moreover, a similar thing was reported in Port Harcourt where we do not have a gas plant.

“There is a general problem that people do not understand and people have no right to blame SPDC for everything that goes wrong.”

Source News Express

Posted 24/12/2016 10:25:42 AM

 

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