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Flooding Menace: Italian Firm, Rivers Community Sign Pact To End Flooding

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The Italian energy giant, ENI, which is the parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has entered agreement with Aggah community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government of Rivers State to tackle annual flooding in the area.

Aggah community,  according to a group, Egbema Voice of Freedom(EVF), has, over 40 years, been witnessing repeated annual flooding allegedly caused by operations of oil company in the area.

The group,  which is fighting marginalisation in the area, had petitioned ENI over neglect and environmental issues in the host communities with support from Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA) and Chima Williams & Associates (CWA).

In a joint statement in Port Harcourt, EVF, represented by Pastor Evaristus Nicholas; ACA represented by Jonathan Kaufman; Chima Williams & Associates, (CWA), represented by Prince Chima Williams and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) led by Sacha Feierabend, noted that the agreement followed thorough investigations by ENI.

The complainants stressed that the  flooding had devastating impacts on the health, property, livelihoods and environment of the Aggah community.

The statement read: “After years of battle, residents of the community of Aggah in Rivers State, Nigeria, finally have hope for relief from the floods that have plagued them for five decades. “In a rare successful case before an OECD National Contact Point (NCP), the agreement addresses the essential concern of the complainants. the urgent construction of drainage solutions to mitigate the flooding and a potential resort to a technical expert if more efforts are needed. “The agreement is an achievement that follows years of battle to get ENI and its subsidiary NAOC to act to resolve the flooding they have created. We remain however vigilant on how the company and its Nigerian subsidiary will implement the agreement”,  he said.