Urhobo Historical Society

OIL LEAKAGE AND DISASTER AT AMUKPE, NEAR SAPELE
February 12, 2000


Source:
Subject:         OIL DISASTER AT AMUKPE
   Date:         Sat, 12 Feb 2000 22:27:36 -0500
   From:         Urhobo Historical Society <Urhobo@KinsFolk.com>
     To:         Urhobo Historical Society <Members@waado.org>

Subject: ERA BRIEF....DISASTER AT AMUKPE
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 22:31:31 -0800
From: "ERA/FoEN" <eraction@infoweb.abs.net>
To: "ERA" <eraction@infoweb.abs.net>


ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION (ERA)
214 Uselu-Lagos Road, P.O. Box 10577, Benin City, Nigeria
Tel/fax + 234 52 600 165 e-mail: eraction@infoweb.abs.net

ERA BRIEF
February 12, 2000
SUBJECT: DISASTER AT AMUKPE



Our ace cameraman, Israel Aloja, has just returned from Amukpe, Sapele,  Delta State, with very shocking photographs and video of a  disaster-in-progress. They are images of pulsating fountain of petrol (gasoline) gushing the product into forests and waterways in the vicinity. The Ethiope River is awash with petrol and a thick smell of petrol hangs in the air over Sapele. The Situation is such that should a driver toss a  cigarette butt into the river from the bridge the river may go up in flames.

The ecological implications of this large-scale pollution are enormous and ought to attract urgent attention. This is not forthcoming.

HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?

It is common knowledge that the NNPC pipelines carrying fuel to the North leaks at a number of points. Whenever the local people notice such leakage they always see it as an opportunity to cut a slice of the national cake.  This explains why the youths that flag down motorists at a number of the  communities along the Warri-Sapele highway are often not looking for a ride.  They are unlicensed petrol vendors! A valve in the Amukpe started to leak  petrol over two weeks ago. Some persons decided that scooping petrol from  the trickle was not lucrative enough and decided to open the valve a little bit more. That was yesterday, February 11, 2000.

The pressure released was more than the adventurists bargained for. The  force of the exiting petrol killed four persons in the party on the spot.

WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?

The sound of gushing petrol can best be equated to that of a coarse fountain with thick jets. But no one is entertained or refreshed by this fountain. The local people who are also keeping sealed lips over the incident avoid the area.

ERA CALLS

1. On the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to wake up to her responsibility to monitor the pipelines and effect repairs to avoid the  incessant pipeline explosions.
2. On the communities through which these pipelines pass to report leaks  promptly to the NNPC officials
3. On the local people to avoid these disaster areas rather than exposing  themselves to avoidable dangers.
4. On NNPC to step in immediately to stop the pumping of petrol into the Ethiope River and the adjoining forests and swamps.

For more information contact:
ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION/ FRIENDS OF THE EARTH (FoE, Nigeria)
+ OILWATCH AFRICA
#214, Uselu-Lagos Road, P. O. Box 10577, Benin City, Nigeria
Tel/Fax: + 234 52 600165 Email: eraction@infoweb.abs.net
Port Harcourt: # 13 Agudama Street, D-Line, Port Harcourt
Tel: + 234 84 236365 Email: Oilwatch@infoweb.abs.net
& E-mail: obinze@aol.com
Lagos: # 1 Balogun Street, Ikeja
Email: disera@infoweb.abs.net
London: 42, William Harvey House, Whitlock Drive, SW119 6SQ
Tel/Fax: + 44 181 7800574    Email: njaja@compuserve.com


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