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Fuel Leakage: Akoka Community Hails Intervention by Total Station

By Nnadozie Okere
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Residents of Akoka community in Lagos State have praised the management of the Total Service Station in Akoka for taking swift action in restoring sanity to the community after a leakage was discovered in the station underground tank in August last year.

The members of Akoka Community Development Association (ACDA), noted that relevant expert agencies such as Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR have certified the environment safe, hence residents can continue with their domestic and business activities without any fear or concern.

They made this known on the side-lines of the association’s appreciation and award ceremony organised to honour long-standing and committed residents in the area.

Chairman of the association, Mr. Segun Adesanya in his address extolled residents for tolerating each other and co-habiting peacefully and called for similar attitude among Lagosians. He explained that the ACDA deemed it fit to recognise and reward residents who have selflessly served the community for five years.

On the issue of petrol leakage, he said that the company in question had been quite responsive and that it “left no stone unturned in bringing the environment back to shape. I can stand here and say Total has done what it was supposed to do.”

He added, “The incident occurred last year August and Total was quick to notify relevant government agencies including the CDA. They started the remediation process by blocking all water sources in the affected five houses as confirmed by the agency in charge of remediation, Terra Aqua Environmental Consultancy Ltd. as well as supplied us with alternative potable water.

“Such an accident is inevitable, but we are happy with the way the company went about managing the situation. It didn’t only cater for the environment but also the health needs of dwellers. “In our meeting with the Commissioner for the Environment, we resolved that any resident with health issue arising from the crisis should be attended to at either Lagoon or Mercury or Clinique Hospitals because residents demanded to be treated in private clinic.”

Reacting to the allegations by some residents that the company neglected the community in the situation, he said “I am speaking as a recognised authority in this community, and my comment is based on fact and the present situation. The state government is also on top of the issue.”

Backing up the Chairman’s claim, the Baale of the society, Olusegun Aroyeun noted that the incident disrupted activities in the area for a while, adding that efforts made by the company had further raised their hopes.

In his words, Razak Odufuwa, a landlord in the area who claimed that his house happened to be the worst hit by water pollution caused by the leakage, praised the company for taking the right and swift steps, stating that the water was now safe for consumption and for other domestic chores.

However, an elder in the community who is also one of the awardees, Folorunsho Olatunji said, “Those who are trying to put Total into problems are some of those who took things from the company. They want to take more advantage of the incident.”

The filling station was recently shut down by the Lagos State Government following allegations of neglect by some residents in the community but has been reopened for business activities after follow up study of the situation.