Oil spills: Reps panel vows to ensure justice for host communities

Oil spills: Reps panel vows to ensure justice for host communities

The house of representatives committee on host communities has vowed to ensure environmental justice for villages that have suffered oil spills in the Niger Delta region.

In a statement on Saturday, Dumnamene Dekor, chairman of the committee, said the lawmakers will ensure full compensation for the communities in addition to measures to forestall the long-term effects of the spills.

TheCable had reported how a crude truckline operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) discharged 110 barrels of crude oil in a Bayelsa community in April.

The spillage is just the latest of many other similar incidents which have ruined lives in various host communities.

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Dekor assured that the committee will “not spare any effort” to ensure environmental justice and restoration of livelihoods for affected communities.

“The Committee makes this assurance against the background of recent reported oil spills in parts of the Niger Delta Region, including Nembe in Bayelsa State and Gbaramatu in Delta State, among others,” he said.

“The Committee is dismayed by the grave distortions and desecration of the environment as well as the grievous discomfort, dislocation and despair the spills have effected in the lives and living conditions of citizens and residents of the affected communities.

“Being fully aware of its mandate seized upon it by the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, which includes to cater to the ‘welfare and protection of rights of oil mineral producing communities,’ the Committee on Host Communities has activated measures to intervene on the issue of oil spills to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to have been done.

“In this regard, the Committee is not only concerned about the urgent imperative for adequate compensation and environmental remediation but importantly about ameliorating the longer-term effects of the spills on local inhabitants, including the unborn while guaranteeing livelihoods for those affected at the instant moment. “

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