Residents of the Abule Egba area of Lagos have raised the alarm over pollution of their sources of water supply by fuel that reportedly spilled from the petroleum pipeline ruptured by oil thieves on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
Wells, which were the main sources of water supply to houses on Arowolo Street, Adeyemi Close and Segun Akinola Street, among others, had been polluted by petrol after the pipeline was vandalized.
Some of the wells have been sealed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Our correspondent, who visited the place on Friday, observed that a red ribbon with caution inscription had been tied round the wells to prevent people from going close to them.
With the dry season setting in, residents said getting clean water to use had become a herculean task as women and children had to trek long distances.
A landlady on Segun Akinola Street, Mrs Ashabi Adeyinka, said she had to pay at least N300 every day for clean water.
She said, “The last December incident of pipeline fire is still affecting us. Fuel spilled into our well and other wells around here and this is making it difficult for us to live.
“This house was built 29 years ago and we have been fetching water from the well since then. But now, we have to look elsewhere because the water is mixed with fuel. As you can see, some government officials came and sealed the well.”
Bamidele Adeyemi also disclosed how residents of the area had been suffering since the incident started.
Occupants of Arowolo Street, including a food vendor, said they had been having difficulties getting water for daily use.
Some residents said the water pollution did not start with the December 19 destruction of the pipeline. They claimed it began after the rupture of the pipeline on December 26, 2007.
Another resident on Adeyemi Close, Miss Hadijat Bamgbose, showed a well which she said had been polluted since 2006 to our correspondent.
She said occupants of the house and others in the area started noticing that the well water had been polluted immediately after the incident of 2006.
Bamgbose stated, “The water in this well can’t be used for anything except you leave it for 30 minutes; it will just turn to a mixture of petrol and water.
“Some other houses also suffer a similar fate. Government officials came last December after the recent explosion to test the water but we haven’t seen the effect of that.
“We want government and relevant organizations to come to our aid. The water here is not good and we need help. We don’t know how serious the health implication can be but we know it is dangerous to use this kind of polluted water.”
The Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Tajudeen Balogun, whose agency is in charge of protecting pipelines, said wells were sealed off by the NNPC.
He said, “Immediately that incident happened, we notified the NNPC and they (officials) came to the area, with other government officials, to test the water. They fetched water from the wells. They were the ones that actually sealed off the wells after taking water samples from the wells.”