Authorities in Unity State are planning to relocate the populations around oil fields before the rainy season, the state Information Minister has said.
Seasonal flash floods on several occasions submerged the oilfields, leaking dangerous chemicals to the surrounding waters and raising fears of an environmental disaster.
According to environmental reports, the landscape around the oilfields is said to contain hundreds of flooded waste pits and soil contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals.
Residents around the oilfields have reported alarming cases of birth defects, miscarriages and other health problems.
To avoid a possible danger of oil pollution to the people and animals Minister Gai says the government is considering relocating them to safer places.
David Gai, the state Information Minister says the government will make sure that the communities of Unity State will live in a safe environment.
Gai says they fear that people around the oil field will be affected if water is mixed with oil.
“The government is planning for the next rainy season to make sure that the dykes around the state are permanently built, the government is also making sure that the communities of Unity State will live in a safe environment,” Gai told Eye Radio.
“Our civil population in Unity State will be located in places where the water is not contaminated. That is to say for the next rainy season, people who are living around the oil fields can be relocated to some places in Rubkona.
“We have also identified some places like Ruriak+ in the North. These communities will be relocated there to avoid oil contamination.”
In November last year, a local NGO said over 300 cattle and 274 goats died after drinking water contaminated with oil.
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