Urhobo Historical Society

NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION'S [NNPC's] OIL SPILL IN ADEJE, AN URHOBO COMMUNITY, IN THE NIGER DELTA
11 January  2000


An Enviromental Rights Action [ERA] Report


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 FIELD REPORT # 51
Subject: Spewing Premium Motor Spirit From NNPC Pipelines Around Adeje
Dispatch: Adeje Town, Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State
From: Victor Raphael
Date: January 11, 2000

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The people's source of livelihood destroyed
  2. Rural poverty heightens
  3. The spill continues
  4. Another "Jesse" crisis imminent
"My business has been affected since the pipeline burst. Nobody wants to drink palm wine again, they say it is poisoned..."
Mr. John Erakpoke, a palm wine tapper

"I was woken up early one morning after Christmas by my friend who told me that fuel was spilling out of the pipelines near our farms in the forest here in Adeje town. I quickly changed my clothes and followed him to the place to meet that the spill was much. That was how we started collecting the fuel we found on the ground in buckets and jerry cans, because we did not want it to waste. No NNPC official has come here since but in the midnight some tankers drive into the area and several others where the pipelines appear to have burst to carry fuel away."
Patrick Kadjohwo, member, Adeje Youths Association (AYA)

INTRODUCTION
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns several kilometres of pipelines transporting premium motor spirit (PMS) from Warri in the Delta to Kaduna in the northern part of the country. The pipelines that pass through Adeje are some of the many that criss-cross the length and breadth of Nigeria. These pipelines often rupture, and in the process spill hazardous petroleum products into the environment.

The spill has destroyed the surrounding vegetation near the pipelines. It has spread into nearby streams and creeks, on which the people depend for fish, water, etc.

IMPACT OF THE SPILL
Since the 23rd of December 1999, when the spill became pronounced there has been no sign of agricultural activity here. ERA found that the men and women in Adeje town in Warri South LGA of Delta state of Nigeria who claim to have been denied their means of livelihood like fishing and growing of food crops have resorted to selling PMS on the Warri-Benin Highway. A 25 litre gallon of PMS which officially sells for N700 is now sold for N200 or less.

Local folks said they took to fetching and selling the product so cheaply because there were eager buyers in vehicles plying the Warri . Sapele -Benin road. Moreover they claim that they want to prevent it from wasting away as no NNPC official has come to inspect the site of the ruptured pipelines since it happened last year.

There are, however, justified apprehension that there may be another petrol fire incident like the "Jesse" episode of 1998 in, which over 1500 lives were lost.

ERA RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. NNPC should without delay repair all ruptured pipelines in Adeje and its environs.
  2. NNPC should clean up the polluted areas immediately.
  3. NNPC should pay compensation to those whose farmlands and means of livelihood have been destroyed
  4. Fire fighters with suitable equipment should immediately be dispatched to ADEJE and environs to forestall any ugly incident.

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