Illegal refineries: Bayelsa communities seek end to pollution of Kolo Creek


The  Kolo Creek had been receiving crude as fallout of activities of illegal artisanal refiners with the worst polluted communities in recent times being Otuasega, Imiringi, Yiba-ama and Ibelebiri.

They lamented that the illegal oil refining camps had impacted the Kolo Creek, which is their only source of drinking water.

Some leaders of the communities in a field report released on Monday by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and signed by Mr Morris Alagoa said the residents were helpless.

“The main subject of discussion is how to stop the activities causing the Kolo Creek to be so polluted.

“But our fear, to be truthful to you, is that anybody within this area that champions the moves aimed at stopping the local refining will be attacked by those perpetrating the act.

“So, the resolution was that we are going to approach the operators and owners of the crude oil refining camps to tell them not to allow the crude oil come down to the Kolo River.

“They should look for a way, either to dig a pit where the residue of their operations could be directed and later burnt off.

“Anybody that champions that, especially in this our area, will be attacked. But government is bigger than them and communities will support such efforts of government,” the report said.

Some residents, Angelina Ngeribo and Agnes Ibugom, said the people could no longer bathe in the creek or fetch water for domestic uses, stressing that the situation had made life difficult for them.

“This crude oil on our water is affecting us in many ways. There is no way to bathe in the creek again. If you venture to go in and come out your body will be oily as if you rubbed pomade. We are suffering as a result of the current condition of the river.

“We are not telling lies. When you are paddling in your canoe, all your hands, your chest, clothes will all get soiled with crude oil including your canoe,” Ngeribo said.



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