Okorogbene Community in Diebiri Clan is in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. Okorogbene Community is a five minute boat ride from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Batan flow station Lat 5.5359. E 5.5391.See more...
ERA monitor visited the community following a Save our Souls (SOS) from the few surviving community people, who used to be fish farmers, who complained of how Shell's pipeline has polluted their creeks and rendered them jobless.
When ERA monitor visited, the community was nearly deserted as it was learnt that the pollution of the creek not only affected livelihoods but also led to the deaths of unsuspecting members of the community that drank from waters of the creek, not knowing that Shell facility had polluted it.
ERA monitor was also able to track some of the community members who had relocated to the urban part of Warri.
TESTIMONIES Copper Ikiyomamamu, Okorogbene Community Woman ''I was born at Okorogbene Community and am now 92 years in age. In Okorogbene, our occupation was fishing and we had variety of fish at Okorogbene, including crayfish. Okorogbene was a fishing settlement and was founded by our forefathers. When Shell came to our community in the late 60's we welcomed them with hopes that development will come but, little did we know that Shell's arrival would mean our death. When Shell came into our land and we started experiencing oil spill on our creeks, the fish where no more, even Okorogbene creek where we get our drinking water was also affected by oil spill. We started having strange illness and at about that time I went blind. I also lost my sister in the village. At first she went blind and later fell sick and died. It was after her death I went blind so I had to leave the village. We all eventually left the community one after the other for fear of death. I miss Okorogbene community, but for my blindness, I still would have been there fishing.'' Comrade Doris Ebi Gula ''I miss a lot of things about Okorogbene community like the peaceful environment, the fishing experience among others. I used to follow my grandmother to the creeks to fish when she was in the community. My grandmother would smoke fish and bring two bags to Warri for us to sell, that was before River blindness affected her. I work with Warri Sout-West Local Government Council so I was able to get some drugs for river blindness which I gave to my grandmother and her eyes were much better then. My mother and I used to paddle canoe from Warri to Okorogbene community and I miss all that. Shell is responsible for all this problem...''