Only last week, Exxon made it public news that one of its pipelines in the proximity of the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria started to leak for no apparent reason.
For the time being, the technological failure that led to this incident remains unknown, yet company representatives wish to reassure locals that the pipeline has been shut down and that a clean-up team is working towards doing some damage control.
African Seer informs us that, according to a Reuters reporter who took it to himself to have a closer look at this leaking pipeline and its impact on the ecosystems nearby, the oil slick has now spread over at least 20 miles (32.18 kilometers).
Still, there are some who fear that the oil dispersants used by Exxon's employees in order to tackle this issue might also negatively impact on the wellbeing of aquatic ecosystems in this part of the world.
Thus, it is very well possible that efforts to clean up the spill will also affect the local fish population, leaving the Nigerian fishermen in the region without one of their most important food and money source.
The clean-up team aside, it seems that the people living close to the coast of the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom have gathered around all the buckets they have managed to get their hands on, and are now trying to remove some of the fuel themselves.
“This is the worst spill in this community since Exxon started its operations in the area,” a 40-year-old fisherman named Edet Asuquo commented with respect to this incident.
“The fishermen cannot fish any longer and have no alternative means of survival,” Edet Asuquo went on to add.
Spokespersons for Exxon explain that the company deeply regrets that this has happened, and aims to do everything in its power to gain control of the situation as soon as possible.