Home Environment Gelegele Community Demand End to Oil and Gas Exploration

Gelegele Community Demand End to Oil and Gas Exploration

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Gelegele Community Demand End to Oil and Gas Exploration

… HOMEF Pledges Sustained Solidarity

By Oke-Oghene Orogun, Benin City

With the damaging effects of oil and gas exploration in Gelegele community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, members of the community have reechoed their call for an end to oil and gas exploration in the area.

At a capacity building workshop organised by a Non-Governmental Organization, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), the residents also issued a quit notice to Dublic Oil and Gas Company operating in the area citing years of damages, neglect, and destruction of their livelihood.

Prince Barbs Pawuru, president of the Host Communities Network (HoCON), and member of the Gelegele Community, said the company must account for oil and gas leakages, environmental destruction, and neglect they have caused.

According to him, Dubric Oil and Gas had carried out oil and gas exploration in for years and built a gas flaring plant in the heart of the community, exposing the people to toxic acids and gas emissions that have polluted the lands, waters, and the air.

Prince Pawuru noted that several efforts have been made to seek redress, but they have failed because the companies have employed a divide-and-rule system by awarding menial jobs to a selected few in the community, pitching them against their own people and against the well-being and development of the people.

Some women in the community, Mrs. Elizabeth Monday, Peter Victoria, and Christiana Eki, said that the company in the Gelegele has exploited their lands and the people without any benefit to them. They decried the abnormal temperature in the community, and the citing of the gas flaring plant in the heart of the community which causes diseases, ranging from heart conditions to skin diseases, and loss of sight. They also bemoan the pollution of their land and water which has adversely affected fishing and farming.

Stephen Oduware, the Programmes Manager and Project Lead, Fossil Politics, at Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) told Newsnowng that the capacity building was the second visit of HOMEF to the community as part of the advocacy for oil and gas companies in the area to take responsibility for their actions.

Oduware noted that the capacity building seeks to achieve solidarity, integration, and responsibility with the call for an end to environmental injustice, restoration, remediation, and reparation for the community, adding that the community need to be recognized, protected and supported so that they do not go out of extinction.

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