Massive leak from Chevron pipeline wrecks havoc to lives in Bayelsa community

A massive oil spill has been reported along the creeks and waterways of Koluama 1 community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Community sources said the spill was as a result of the damaged pipes of the Funiwa oil field belonging to Chevron.

The spill which spread across over four kilometres occurred on Friday at about at 6 pm and is said to have already affected the aquatic life of the people of the area as dead fishes have washed ashore.

The sources said the livelihood of indigenes, which is fishing has been halted due to the spill.

Mr Mathew Sele-epri, the Chairman of the KEFFES Rural Development Foundation said he was alerted about the spillage at about 6 pm on Friday.

Sele-epri said he had informed the major operators in the area, but added that the cause of the spillage is not yet known.

“As at the time of taking a boat ride along the affected parts of the waters, dead fishes were noticed floating along the shoreline of the sea. And I noticed that the ecosystem is being damaged and aquatic life of the people grossly affected.”

Oyinme Barnarbas, the Secretary of the Koluama Youths Association, said there were strange movement of helicopters conveying personnel of chevron on Saturday night.

He said: “While we were fishing, we saw helicopters with Chevron Nigerian Personnel being conveyed back to the platform and inspecting the damage and spillage. We suspected that the company has had a ruptured pipeline. We also noticed that the light from the gas flare is low which may have been caused by the massive leakage.”

Some Elders urged the relevant agencies to compel Chevron oil limited to immediately start mopping up activities by sending relief materials and medical supplies to the people of the area.

They said youths in the community have traced the source of the spillage to the Chevron owned Funiwa oil field.

The elders said the community is ready to shut down the Chevron oil activities if immediate remediation is not started.