Covid-19 Sensitization Campaign

Abba of SACA addressing the leaders of Kalaba community during the visit to the community with health officials from Bayelsa Ministry of Health to sensitize them on the pandemic and teach them how to avoid contracting the virus. They also brought food items, hand sanitizers and face masks to the leaders for distribution to their community members.

Covid-19 Sensitization Campaign at Elebele

One of the community leaders practicalizing the washing of hand as they were taught by SACA and the health officials during the visit to the community with health officials from Bayelsa Ministry of Health to sensitize them on the pandemic and teach them how to avoid contracting the virus. They also brought food items, hand sanitizers and face masks to the leaders for distribution to their community members.

Covid-19 Sensitization Campaign at Zarama-Epie

Some of the food items brought by SACA to Zarama people during the visit to the community with health officials from Bayelsa Ministry of Health to sensitize them on the pandemic and teach them how to avoid contracting the virus. They also brought food items, hand sanitizers and face masks to the leaders for distribution to their community members.

SACA Organises Training for NSCDC Officials on Business, Security and Human Rights

Senior officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, the body responsible for the security of oil/gas pipelines across the nation, received a one-day training organised by SACA in April 2019. The training was facilitated by a conflict resolution expert, Mr. Austin Onuoha.

Trainees on Mobile Phone Repairs

The forth participant, Patrick, Irish, male, a young adult, quickly breezed through the app like some shopping aficionado, passing all the stages where the others had challenges. He is a student of computer science in the University of Limerick.

Covid-19 Campaigns

covid-19 campaigns

SACA staff embarked on a sensitization campaign in our target communities in Bayelsa State, to distribute relief materials to them, including food items. We also went with some health workers who delivered health talks to them, convincing them on the reality of the pandemic and educating them on the best ways to avoid contracting the virus. The health workers were invited from the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health. Details...

Alternative Livelihoods

alternative_livelihoods

SACA trained a total of 50 persons in Otuasega community in Kolo Creek this year. Last year, we trained 43 in Kalaba community in Okordia Zarama. The candidates for this year were trained on Fish Farming, Cosmetics, Soap, Detergent and Antiseptics Production, Snail Farming and Mobile Phones Repair. For the trainings, we engaged various experts from the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology's Bioresources Development Center (BIODEC) at Odi. Details...

Anti-Vandalism Campaign

antivandalism campaign

Fr. Kevin O'Hara of SACA fielding interviews with the media during the anti-pipeline vandalism organised by SACA for secondary school students in Kolo Creek Cluster, which was held at Mater Dei Secondary School on June 27, 2019. The campaigns are part of SACA's efforts to help address the problem from its roots, in this case by disabusing the minds of the young ones while they are still innocent but allured everyday. Details...

Int'l Commission of Inquiry

O'Hara and Sentamu

SACA worked with the International Commission of Inquiry on environmental degradation in the Niger Delta led by renowned lawyer and Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu. The commission has been investigating the thousands of oil spills in the Delta, particularly in Bayelsa State, which have destroyed a lot of lives and livelihoods and damaged the ecosystem. Details...

Olotu, an Environmental Hero, is Dead

Late Francis Freedom

The owner of Oya Lake whose case SACA first handled on arrival in Bayelsa State and which has attracted global attentions, Francis Freedom, aka, Olotu, is dead. Francis was a young fisherman and student. Francis' Oya Lake was heavily polluted by oil spills from Shell's facility which occurred in 2008 in the nearby Oburon Lake and flowed downstream to his own lake, and was not contained or cleaned up for 4 years. All efforts made by Francis to get the company to cleanup the spill failed until he brought it to SACA's attention.

SACA engaged the company's shareholders in the UK and got the company to carry out a cleanup in June 2013. However, the cleanup was shoddily done and, till date, the lake is still very much polluted. Furthermore, following several sample collections and tests, experts have repeatedly concluded that the lake is still polluted with heavy metals, and SACA and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) have been trying to prevail on the company to return and clean up the lake to standard.

Meanwhile, Francis, having no other source of income, has still been living and fishing around the lake. In February, 2020, he died after a health complication at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri. His young daughter had died 2 years ago from pregnancy complications in the same hospital. SACA mourns Francis and prays for his happy repose.

Oruma Spill Still Not Cleaned Up

Oruma Spill Victim

The massive oil spill at Yiba-Ama (formerly Oruma) community has still not been cleaned up, and it is now 4 years. SACA teams have visited both the spill sites and some community leaders numerous times since then, starting from January 2016, to see if it had been cleaned up as promised by the company. But it has not.

The community has been lamenting and calling on the government and non-governmental organisations to help them put pressure on the company to come and rescue them as they are trapped in the oil mess everyday. Their fishing grounds and farmlands have been polluted and the spills have kept spreading. The head of the community, King Wafebiama Amakiri, told SACA that he wondered why Shell was carefree about this incident, attributing the alleged negligence to the peaceful disposition of their community towards the company.

SACA raised this issue with Shell Nigeria during a meeting with 7 of the company’s managers in Port Harcourt, including the company's General Manager for Community Relations & Sustainable Development, Mr. Igo Weli, on December 13, 2017. The managers replied that they were assessing the spill with regulatory agencies. However, the managers put the blame for the spills on the community youths, arguing that it did not make sense spending the available funds on cleanups when it was likely that the boys would sabotage the pipelines again..

Irish Ambassador Visits SACA and Bayelsa Communities Again

Irish Ambassador with Some SACA Staff, Government Officials and King Akah

Without any particular investments or business interests in the Niger Delta, the Republic of Ireland is arguably one of the countries that has demonstrated the most concern for the safety and livelihoods of the host communities in this area. This is evident, not only in the passion with which the founder and Board Chairman of SACA, Fr. Kevin O'Hara, an Irish priest, has worked for human rights, environmental, economic and social justice in the Niger Delta for over 2 decades. But it is not only him; the government of Ireland, since the pre-colonial times, has supported the region in development, agriculture, healthcare and education. More recently, the country's embassy in Abuja has shown particular interest in the plights of the host communities in the hands of the multinationals.

Barely 2 years after his first visit in August 2016, the ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Mr. Sean Hoy, has visited Bayelsa State again, from July 26 to 28, 2018. Recall that the embassy under Mr. Hoy had, in 2015, sponsored the building and stocking of 4 fishponds for Ikarama women and youths in Okordia/Zarama Cluster. During his first visit in 2016, Mr. Hoy had visited Ikarama community in Okordia/Zarama Cluster, Imiringi in Kolo Creek Cluster, Koroama in Gbarain/Ekpetiama Cluster and Shell's Central Processing Facility (CPF) at Gbarain, where he met with some top Shell officials regarding best practice in the area. This time, he met with representatives of all the Gbarain/Ekpetiama host communities and their nominated negotiators for the new GMoU, in Obunagha townhall.

The ambassador, who first met with SACA staff, was received at the State Government House by the State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd.) and some of the State commissioners. He then proceeded with SACA staff to Obunagha townhall where he met with representatives of all the communities in Gbarain-Ekpetiama Cluster and had discussions with them, SACA staff and government officials, on the various problems the Cluster have been having with the implementation of Shell's GMoU in the area.

The ambassador and his entourage also visited the 2 clan heads of the Cluster, King Gabriel Aka of Gbarain Kingdom and King Bubaraye Dakolo of Ekpetiama Kingdom, in their palaces.

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SACA Trains NSCDC on Business, Security & Human Rights

Participants at the Workshop

For some years, there have been allegations of human rights abuses by some men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in the course of executing their federal mandate of securing oil/gas facilities. These happened mostly in the Okordia-Zarama axis where dozens of oil spills have been recorded over the past couple of years. To help address this, SACA organized a workshop for the officers of the corps in the State, on the United Nations Guiding Principles and the Voluntary Principles on Business, Security and Human Rights. The NSCDC are the security forces with the statutory federal mandate to protect the oil/gas installations and other critical national assets of the country. The workshop, which took place on April 12, 2019 at the Command's State headquarters in Yenagoa, was attended by all the senior officers and management of the Corps, representatives of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), other NGOs including the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, the State Ministry of Environment and some traditional rulers and representatives of Okordia-Zarama Cluster.

The workshop started with a welcome and opening address by the Corps’ State Commandant, Mr. Pedro Awili Ideba. Mr. Ideba lauded SACA for its interventions in the State, specifically acknowledging SACA’s Anti-vandalism workshop in 2018 which he described as very wonderful, and how SACA had interfaced with NSCDC, playing vital roles in ensuring that the mandate of the NSCDC was delivered. He expressed his wishes that there were other NGOs working the way SACA does to promote environmental accountability. “My personal interest is that this organization is a non-governmental organization, which means that how they generate money, I do not know. And yet they are doing so much for the nation. I just hope that Nigerians and other well-meaning organizations will be able to emulate the gesture of this company in ensuring that our people live a clean and healthy life, and ensuring that the environment is kept healthy. For we know that if there is a healthy environment, development will thrive.”

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More Community Volunteers Joining SACA

SACA has won the hearts and minds of host communities under Shell's Integrated Oil and Gas Gathering Project. Even though many youths, due to the increasing hardships in the country, are joining the dangerous business of illegal bunkering and oil refining, some other youths who are more sensible have decided to tow the way of honour. These have identified with SACA and are innovative ways of stopping the trend of vandalism. SACA trained some of the dozens who volunteered last year. This year, more have been recruited. A report of the training/orientation for last year's volunteers is here.