Global energy giant and key stakeholder in the Niger Delta, Shell, has called on other players in the region to join in the efforts to provide relief materials for people impacted by the recent flood disaster and work together towards helping these victims restore their lives to normal. This is as Shell commenced distribution of relief materials to some impacted communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo States.
Country Chairman, Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said this recently in Ahoada, Rivers State, as Shell handed over food and non-food relief materials, as well as medical supplies to impacted communities and people housed in the camps for internally displaced people.
Okunbor said: “Shell is providing these relief materials because we do not want you to go through this sad experience alone as government and concerned institutions continue to work to make life go back to normal.
“This must be a most horrifying period for you, not being able to go about your normal lives and being exposed to all manners of health and livelihood challenges.”
He urged the affected people “to, please, utilise the services of our medical outreach. They are very experienced and have been providing similar services across the Niger Delta to hundreds of thousands of people via our programmes.”
Represented by SPDC Corporate Lands Manager, Mr. Trevor Akpomughe, he said: “This flood disaster affects many communities across Nigeria. For us, at Shell, we are providing support to people who are in communities where we have Shell operations and in IDP camps. You are our immediate neighbours and, as we have always shown, what affects you, affects us. So, these relief materials and medical outreach programme that we are providing to you, we are also providing them to other affected communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo States.”
Earlier, Shell had announced that it would be spending one million US Dollars ($1million), exclusive of its joint venture partners in Nigeria, to support government’s efforts to provide relief to people impacted by the current flood disaster. This programme has started in Ahoada, Rivers State where the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Area (LGA), Benjamin Eke, and representatives of the paramount ruler, Eze Kelvin Anugwo, were on hand to receive the materials.
The LGA Chairman, Eke, said: “My sincere appreciation to SPDC for this timely intervention. By this gesture the company should be seen as one that shows it cares for the people in this area. I want to personally thank SPDC for the robust medical attention and it is our hope that this gesture will ameliorate the hardships faced by the victims of the flooding in our communities.”
He said: “We wish to re-assure you of our commitment to partner with our key stakeholders in bringing the desired development to our host communities. Thank you for your understanding and we hope to see the situation return to normalcy soon. We assure you that there will be peace here and you will have a very smooth operation.”
At the ceremony in Ahoada, Shell provided medical items that included pain-relieving creams and lotions, anti-diarrhea tablets, multivitamins, eye ointment, disposable face masks, antivenom for snake bites, vaccines against tetanus and mosquito repellant creams. The company also provided bags of rice, iodized salt, garri, beans, beverages, infant supplements, sachet water, cartons of noodles, vegetable and palm oil; toothpaste, sanitary pads, towels, antiseptic soaps, diapers, washing soap; mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets, plates and cups and buckets, among others.
Similar to 2012 and 2018, when flood also displaced people in the region, members of staff of Shell companies in Nigeria are supporting the company’s donation by contributing towards a voluntary fund for the purchase of additional relief materials for impacted people.