NOSDRA seeks communities’ cooperation against pipeline vandalism

The federal government has solicited the cooperation of local communities to enhance the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) plan on dangers caused by pipeline vandalism in the country.
The Director – General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Peter Idabor, made the appeal during a sentisation campaign on dangers of pipeline vandalism in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.
Idabor said, that the agency planned to expand the scope of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) project to all communities in the Niger Delta.
He said the pilot scheme of the DRR plan carried out in Rivers and Bayelsa between 2014 and 2015 by NOSDRA recorded a huge success.
According to him, the government would sustain the sensitisation, engagement and empowerment of all stakeholders to curb pipeline vandalism that caused oil spills and environmental pollution.
He urged stakeholders in oil producing communities to see oil pipeline passing through their communities as their project, stressing that they must protect the pipeline and the environment.
“The agency is dedicated to expanding the scope of the Disaster Risk Reduction project to all the communities of the Niger Delta and driving it through the strategy that is the continuous sensitisation, engagement and empowerment of all stakeholders.
“I therefore urge you to cooperate with Government to make this project more successful and memorable.
“We must note that mitigation of disasters by promoting collaboration with our local communities will enhance sustainable development and reduce level of poverty in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
He said that the DRR would be community driven, community implemented, community monitored and community evaluated project.
He stated that DRR would be actualised in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure responsibility and protection of the immediate environment.
Idabor said that the DRR plan was developed by the agency to create and sustain an interface with stakeholders to curb pipeline vandalism in the country.
He said: “While it is true that crude oil is spilled into the environment due to equipment failure, pipeline vandalism by unscrupulous elements, it also contributes largely to the menace resulting in adverse socio economic, health and environmental conditions.
” Idabor was represented at the occasion by Mr Simon Ugbe, the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr Simon Ugbe from the agency.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr Iniobong Essien in Akwa Ibom, said that environmental pollution and ecosystem damage due to oil spills should be discouraged by communities.
Essien said that the community based disaster risk management would strengthen stakeholders’ engagement and help to achieve peaceful co-existence between host communities and oil producing companies.
She said that the DRR was a complete departure from the past where communities affected by oil spills were not participants in its remediation programmes.
She urged the communities and stakeholders to embrace the DRR plan.
According to her, the plan will help to unite the communities in understanding the risks and in preparedness, instigation and preventive actions against pipeline vandalism.

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