Rainbow Watch and Development Centre, a non-governmental organization advocating for environmental sustainability, has criticized the joint investigation visits (JIV) carried out by the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to the Eteo oil spill site, which occurred on June 18, 2023. The organization has faulted NOSDRA’s motives in the investigation after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly sneaked in to cock the leakage.
The Eteo oil spill site is located in Eleme Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria, where oil exploration and production have caused significant environmental damage and health hazards to local communities. According to reports, the spill has negatively affected the community and has also impacted farming activities in the community.
Rainbow Watch and Development Centre has expressed concerns over the integrity of the JIV, which involves a team of experts from regulatory agencies, oil companies, and impacted communities. The organization has called on NOSDRA to avoid colluding with the NNPC to cover up the true extent of the oil spill and its impact on the environment and people.
The organization has also called for an independent investigation into the oil spill and for the NNPC to be held accountable for its environmental and social responsibilities. It has urged the government to prioritize the protection of human and environmental rights over the interests of oil companies in the Niger Delta region.
The Eteo oil spill is just one of the many environmental disasters that have occurred in Nigeria’s oil-producing regions, where oil spills, gas flaring, and other environmental crimes have become commonplace. Environmental advocates and impacted communities continue to demand justice and accountability for the damages caused by oil exploration and production in the region.