The people of Omoviri Village in Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State raised alarm over the high level of suffering caused by oil spillage that contaminated their river and only source of Drinking water.
The Omoviri people told correspondent ANITA OGONA that they no longer have any source of livelihood as the spills also damaged crops and they now suffer from different illness as result of constant looking for ways to make the River useful.
The Omoviri people also complained that they no longer have access to the source Any drinking water and their crops damaged as they now suffer different illness from the oil spill they now have to depend on pure water sachets from the city, as a result of that they spend so much money buying sachet waters,
They say they also lacked basic amenities and lamented on the bad state of their roads, lack of school and hospital and called on government and relevant stakeholders and cooperate Organizations to urgently intervene to save the people from hardship and dying.
The Community Development Committee Chairman, EXCELLENT EZE said they were surprised to see oil float from their water and that for more than one year now they are still perplexed because they don’t know the source of the spillage and since then, their source of livelihood have been destroyed. he said not one single fish cant be found in the river. even tadpoles couldn’t survive the effect of the pollution inside the river and their women trek long distance to another village to get water. He lamented that they unable to dig bore hole and despite their oil explorations in the neighboring village, with the presence of OIL MULTINATIONALS IN THE AREA, non have proved any form of succor to the community to alleviate their suffering
The women in the community also used the opportunity to draw the attention of the Government on the bad state of their roads, lack of school and hospital called on government and relevant stakeholders and cooperate Organizations to urgently intervene to save the people from hardship and dying. they say pregnant women who they cant rush before her due date unable to take to port Harcourt during pregnancy may end up dying due to lack of access road and maternity. they don’t even have chemist. she said almost all the women our legs are attacked each time we come in contact with the water, she said the signs begin like a bite, then grow from their and becomes big wound, all the women are using herbal methods to treat them(all of them showing me their legs with wounds and sour)
Mrs Gladys EZE Who spoke on behalf of the women also said their children cant go to school because the closet school to the community is in another area and haven survived tribal wars, communal clash, They are afraid to send their children’s to other villages so as not irk their neighbours and to avoid trouble which might come from any where.
A senior program officer of Social Action, PRINCE EDEGBUO who led a team of Journalists on an inspection tour of the oil impacted site, called for immediate clean up of the polluted water, considering the importance of water to life of the people in rural areas
He said water to people is the number essence of livelihood, considering the importance of water to life.
Prince Edegbuo also expressed worries that the government agency responsible for detection of oil spills and it’s challenges is yet to detect the source of the oil spillage which have taken over the only stream that serves as major source of drinking water and other domestic and economic purposes for the community
He also expressed worry over the pungent caustic smell oozing from River and wondered how the level of suffering caused by oil spill that have contaminated their river.