Sunday, February 12, 2012

NIGERIA: Bayelsa State to speed up aid for oil-spill victims

Irin News
10 February 2012

An oil rig off the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Oil spills and “vandalism” in Nigeria have cost millions in environmental damage and are a cause of frequent disputes with affected communities

WARRI, 10 February 2012 (IRIN) - Nigeria’s Bayelsa State government said yesterday it would speed up the release of money over the next two weeks to help hundreds of thousands of villagers affected by a Chevron off-shore oil spill in January.

The affected areas are Kolo Ama I and II, Akasa, Sanagana, Fish Town, Fropa, Ekeni, Ezetu and Lobia - all in Bayelsa State, and with a combined population of some 500,000.

“We and the Bayelsa Ministry of Health are asking for seven million naira [US$44,000] to enable us to make an initial dispatch of urgently needed relief items like water to the affected people and also carry out a damage impact assessment,” said Igwe Napoleon, the Bayelsa State branch secretary of the Nigeria Red Cross, on 3 February.

The state government said there had been a delay in the release of the money requested by the Red Cross due to political bickering and a sudden change in the state’s executive council.

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