Home Climate Change Burning of seized crude oil vessels is an environmental hazard — ERA/FoEN

Burning of seized crude oil vessels is an environmental hazard — ERA/FoEN

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The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has condemned the burning and destruction of vessels laden with stolen crude oil, describing it as an environmentally unfriendly way of curbing oil theft.

The Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams, stated this while commenting on the conduct of the Nigeria’s security operatives trying to stop oil theft in the Niger Delta, especially in recent times.

According to him, the burning of crude oil laden vessels disposes a high level of chemical content into the water bodies that destroys the eco lives and aquatic organisms that humans need to survive.

“Destroying such vessels with their crude contents produces high level chemical debris that follows tidal movement to other parts of the country. This kind of devastation destroys the aquatic organisms needed to satisfy man’s nutritional and survival needs.

“What is discharged includes chemical contents from the crude and the vessels that are harmful to the human health. The health implications of such activities may not have immediate effects but will be transferred to the people who inhabit these areas, as the primary occupation of the Riverine people are fishing and farming, which is dependent on the surrounding waters.”

He further added that the destruction of crude oil laden vessels will also deprive the people of their sources of livelihood, when the chemical waste from the burnt vessels and crude oil comes in contact with the environment, killing of aquatic life and poisoning the surrounding soil.

Commenting on the economic implication of such activities, Williams further stated that destroying and wasting away stolen crude, is a disfavour to the country’s economy, as such crude could generate funds that will build infrastructures and better the lives of the people.

“Destroying badges of crude that runs into millions is equivalent to denying the nation and its people of the revenue that can be derived from such large amounts of crude. This is a country in dire need of resources to rebuild the economy, to build infrastructures and to better the lives of the people.

“The country is in heavy debt, yet we are destroying sources of enhancing our economy. The burnt vessels can be transformed into other uses, like enhancing the work of seafarers in the country.”

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