Shell and ERA / FOEN disagree on toxic waste dumping allegation | The Guardian Nigeria News


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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) and Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA / FoEN) exchange words on discovery of suspected toxic waste dump in K-Dere, local government area of Gokana in Rivers State.

ERA / FoEN, through its program director Mike Karikpo, said a team of its environmental field monitors visited Lots 13 and 14 on September 28, 2021, unearthed a toxic waste landfill buried by the company in the community of K-dere, while Shell said the allegation is unfounded and unfounded.

According to the group, some workers at Centennial Development and Investment Limited, the contractor assigned to the cleaning and sanitation of lot 13, phase 1 lot 1 of the cleaning sites demarcated by HYPREP, had also complained of a powerful odor. oozing from the lot.

ERA / FoEN revealed that its field monitors noticed colored creamy substances in the soil of the excavated pit. ERA further said an environmental scientist on the team revealed that the stench and color of the groundwater in the pit are telltale signs that the site could be a toxic waste dump site.

The excavated area was cordoned off, but despite the possible health and safety implications of working in such a deleterious environment, work was still ongoing in various sections of the site and many workers were not provided with protective masks or other protections. equipment required for this hazardous site work.

No one knows when the toxic substance unearthed by this cleaning contractor was buried, but fingers inexorably point to Shell as the architect of the heinous crime.

ERA / FoEN recalled that in 2018, similar substances emitting very unpleasant odors were discovered in the oil well No.39 in the community of Kdere, and subsequent laboratory analyzes confirmed that the substances were toxic waste buried there by Shell.

Oil well 39 where toxic substances were removed in 2018 by Shell was neither cleaned up nor compensated for people in the community who suffered effects on their crops, nor their health assessed medically.

ERA field monitors and some community members also recalled another massive oil spill incident in Lots 13 and 14 that occurred in 2008, with crude oil rising in the sky and across the nearby asphalt road.

Deploring the situation, ERA / FOEN Executive Director Dr Godwin Uyi Ojo condemned Shell’s frequent acts of secret cocktails of disgustingly toxic chemicals thrown at Ogoni.

He said: “This is a major source of soil contamination and water pollution with serious health risks, and community members are dying multiple times through no fault of their own, but the greed and looting of an oil company that will not play by the rules but has perfected the art of repeatedly raping the people of Ogoniland and their environment.

To this end, Ojo called for “an immediate investigation by relevant agencies, in particular NOSDRA into the alleged Shell landfill to determine the level of toxicity and damage to people, the environment, livelihoods and provide appropriate redress ”.

Karikpo said that “the proper disposal of the hidden cargo of toxic materials from Lot 13 should be carried out by experts and in a transparent manner and should involve the relevant government agencies, affected communities and civil society who wish to follow the movement of this likely cargo. of death.”

Shell Nigeria media relations director Bamidele Odugbesan told The Guardian: false and unfounded.

“The material, located in the right-of-way of SPDC JV, is essentially water-based mud with drill cuttings and sand containing hydrocarbons in some samples. The claim was first made in 2018, was investigated by the industry regulator, and was found to be false.

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Margie D. Carlisle