Bayelsa: Sylva’s Community Boils Over Fresh Oil Spill

An oil spill from an oilfield operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), a subsidiary of the Italian oil major, Eni, is currently causing unease in Okpoama, an Ijaw community in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The community says the oil spill has polluted the area, causing untold hardship to the predominantly fishing population.

Okpoama is a major dispersal town and its indigenes have migrated to all parts of the Niger Delta as far away as Cameroon leaving Okpoama settlements and footprints along the way.

Of recent, they have largely migrated to the major urban centres and the Diaspora. The overall population is placed in the region of 100,000.

Okpoama people are mostly fishing people. In recent years, they diversified into the palm kernel trade, commerce, oil and gas. Okpoama Kingdom is a host community to Agip which has its main oil-exporting facility on the Brass Island.

Brass Liquefied Natural Gas is in the process of completing preparatory arrangements for the take off of the LNG project in the kingdom. Like the rest of communities in the Niger Delta, Okpoama has an epileptic electricity supply.

The area is hosting the only airstrip in Bayelsa capable of being commissioned for domestic operations.  It is expected that it will be upgraded to operational status at the commencement of the Brass LNG.

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