In Bayelsa Tombia residents in Yenagoa allege air pollution around gas facility

The spokesman of the gas plant alleged emitting the dangerous fumes denied the allegations, saying their plant is fine.

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A gas plant play

A gas plant

(Punch)
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Residents of Tombia in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa have complained of air pollution, allegedly emanating from oil and gas facilities located near the community.

Mr Seigha Akoko, Chairman, Tombia Community, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the poor air quality in communities around Gbarantoru Gas Plant was adversely affecting residents of the area.

He said “Our people have reported air pollution here in the past few days, leading to respiratory complications and we have noticed several birds dropping dead from the air.

“The paramount ruler has summoned his cabinet and other community leaders and the issue of deteriorating air quality was exhaustively discussed.

“We do suspect that it might be from the gas plant at Gbarantoru so we want the relevant government agencies to investigate and come up with results."

The community leader said that apart from the air pollution, emissions from the facility had made the water toxic and fish stock wiped out.

“A lot of strange things happen along the Taylor Creek; the water no longer supply fish as it used to before the gas plant started operations.

“We want air quality tests to be conducted while those having respiratory difficulties should be studied to trace the source

“Our fear is that the toxicity level here is higher than the tolerance limits and we do hope that the studies are conducted fast,” Akoko said.

Some residents told NAN correspondent who visited the community that the air pollution was giving them respiratory problems.

“I have been noticing difficulties with breathing and I feel pains in my lungs for the past three days, and some other people have complained of the same symptoms.

”I am going to seek medical attention after the holidays,” a Tombia resident told NAN.

Mr Precious Okolobo, Media Relations Manager at SPDC, denied that the air pollution was from its gas processing and gathering facility.

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“There is no air pollution from our Gbarantoru plant; the plant is running efficiently.

“There is a general problem that people do not understand and people have no right to blame SPDC for everything that goes wrong,” Okolobo said.

He said that a similar occurrence was reported in Port Harcourt where there was no gas plant.

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