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Okrika Residents Decry Illegal Oil Production Activities

… Want Urgent Measures Against Effect

Emi-blaze, Okrika

Fishermen and fishmongers in Okrika Local Government Area have decried the effects of illegal oil production activities in the area, following the upsurge of the activities in the Niger Delta region.

They said oil pollution of the waters and lands have destroyed aquatic lives and affected the health of residents and their means of livelihood.

A popular fisherman in the area known as Henry Black said these activities have made fishing seemingly difficult, leaving them (fishermen) in penury.

He recounted a recent incident that happened on Monday, July 31, 2023, at Okari-Ama, where an explosion occurred and the Jetty was razed down, leaving everyone scampering for their safety.

“That particular day, I was going for fishing. I saw how the water was. But I was unable to make any reasonable catch because the fishes seem to have died due to pollution.

“Now the explosion that happened, it is because they were fetching fuel and it had saturated the surface of the water already.

“Fishermen that went fishing at night, their lanterns caused the fire because from that ‘Okoloba’ (creek) is where the fire started.

“The fire escalated to the Jetty and ignited even the boat that the fuel was loaded in. The bridge collapsed, and we recorded up to three deaths that incident”, he said.

Henry also stated that due to the incident, the fishes could not survive as they all died.

“If you go to the Island now, you will see lots of fishes. Some traders are even selling the dead fishes. The dead fishes are just floating on the River”, he added.

Speaking also, a fishmonger who preferred anonymity said the consumers of the fishes complained about the presence of fuel in the gills of the fishes.

“Even customers that bought the fishes are complaining that the fish is not sweet again, and that they do not know whether it was fish or fuel they were eating”, the fishmonger said.

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