Gas flaring: community youths warn shellNigeria
Burdened by the unbearable harmful effect of gas flaring, youths of Gbarain communities in Bayelsa State, say they are ready to take their destiny in their own hands.
To this end, they have warned the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas super major, Shell, to end continued gas flaring in their communities or brace for war. AkanimoReports gathered from local sources that the aggrieved youths have sent a protest letter to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over the rising anger among indigenes of Obunagha and Zarama communities against gas flaring activities from the Central Processing Facility site of the company located at Okotiama.
Our sources say the youths have warned that if the flaring activities are not stopped, there will be what they described as ”violent actions” against the company.
They are allegedly saying that the previous ”show of insensitivity” by Shell in 2007 on the complaint raised by the Gbarain communities on the gas flaring activities in the area was pardoned; the recent flaring and the attending negative effects on the people of the area will not be pardoned and will be resisted with blood if not stopped.
In the letter dated July 5, 2010 and titled “Urgent Matter”, the youths of the Gbarain communities under the canopy of the Gbarain Youths Federation (GYF) said indigenes of communities in the area are not comfortable with the flaring activities of the company and have observed that the two major sources of water in the communities have become a death trap with incidences of noise, water and structural pollutions recorded in the community.
The letter which was jointly signed by the President of the federation, Wozi Zamabo and General Secretary, Dickson Sam Ebinimi, indicated that indigenes of the affected communities have showed signs of diseases and unusual vibrations of buildings in the area.
The letter said, ”as you know, 95 per cent of the people in Gbarain depend on the rivers and rain water for drinking, cooking, bathing and other domestic uses. But today, as a result of the gas flare in the kingdom, the company has converted these two major sources of water to death traps for us. Therefore we are exposed to water borne diseases from consuming contaminated water. Another serious problem you have exposed us to is the noise pollution. As a result of the on-going flaring, we hardly sleep at night without being disturbed by loud noise generated from the flaring. Either from the CPF site or from Zarama location at Okotiama”.
Continuing, they said, ”our buildings are no longer safe for us to live. In some communities, buildings are as well vibrating anytime the flaring is on. Therefore, our buildings are no longer as safe as they were before. The high density of carbon we are exposed to is a thing of concern and worry to us. The health of our people is not safe.
”The environment is not safe. Our properties are not safe including crops, animals and others. Yet despite that, our ecosystem has been damaged, the kingdom cannot boast of any acceptable or portable drinking water flowing to cushion the effects from consuming polluted rain and river water”.
The Ijaw youths are insisting that the actions of the company is a threat and unacceptable, pointing out that they wish to bring to the knowledge of Shell, in strong terms that we are not in any way comfortable with the gas flaring activity.
”We reverently frown at your negligence of putting into cognisance the ability of the Gbarain people. Knowing that this very act of gas flaring is very dangerous not only to the environment but worse still, to humanity. You have exposed our people”, they added.
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