More than 22 million litres of crude oil were recovered from the spill site in Bodo community in Gokana local government area of Rivers State between 2017 and 2019 as part of ongoing cleanup of the environment.
The cleanup of Bodo oil spill, which occurred in 2008 and 2009, is being carried out by multinational oil giant, Shell while the Hydrocarbon Protection and Remediation Project (HYPREP) is handling the other spill sites in Ogoniland.
The project manager of Giolee Environmental Services, one of the contractors handling the clean up exercise, Dr Evidence Enoch, disclosed this while speaking with journalists at Patrick Tekuru Waterside, Bodo.
Enoch stated that while 20 million litres of crude oil were recovered during the “Boom and Recovery” stage of the cleanup in 2017, over two million litres were recovered during the second stage of the exercise.
He said, “We started this exercise in 2017 and we recovered crude, debris and sand under the Boom and Recovery stage. We recovered up to 20 million litres.
“In 2019, under the second stage of the cleanup, we recovered over two million litres of crude oil. This crude was recycled and was re-injected into the system. It was sold as normal crude.”
Meanwhile, Oilwatch has said even though Goi community in Gokana local government area of Rivers State, was not mentioned in the report of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on the cleanup of the Ogoni environment, there was the need for the federal government to come to the rescue of the community.
The entire people of Goi community fled their homes in 2004 following the pollution of their environment and frequent fire outbreak due to oil spills on the community river.
Speaking with newsmen at Goi shortly after leading Oilwatch members from several African countries to visit some oil spill sites in Ogoniland, the organisation’s representative in Nigeria, Rev Nnimmo Bassey, said members of the community were living as refugees in other communities in the state.
Bassey said the Goi community has been neglected. “It has been neglected; the UNEP report didn’t mention Goi at all. You can’t hear Goi appearing in the question of cleaning this territory. This is the prime place where all these could have started.
“Goi people are living as refugees because you can’t see buildings here. Buildings here were destroyed by fire, pollution and neglect. You can’t stay here for two hours and remain healthy because the hydrocarbon is very thick in the air we are breathing.
“The Goi community needs attention and the government should not wait any further before adding this. Whether UNEP mentioned it or not, the government cannot shut its eye to this community.”