Environment & Climate ChangeNews

PERENCO Agrees To Repair Environmental Damage In Gabon

The Franco-British petroleum company, PERENCO Oil and Gas Gabon, has agreed to repair the environmental damage caused by oil leakages from its pipelines in the various areas in the country.

The case of the pollution on its site in CB-1 Olende where mangroves were seriously polluted came up for special mention.

The decision to repair the damage follows meetings on Jan. 25 and Jan..26 between the company represented by its Gabonese Director-General, Baptiste Breton and Gabon’s Minister of Justice, Arlyne Antonela Ndembet-Damas, with the participation of the Minister of Water and Forest, Lee While, and the Minister of Petroleum, Vincent de Paul Massassa.

The concertation between PERENCO and Gabonese government officials was on instructions from President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. 

Also participating at the meetings was the High Commissioner for Environment and Living Environment, Yannick Georges Sonnet Ongongwou.

The Director-General of Environmental Protection, Stanislas Stephen Mouba during the meetings presented an expose on the judicial and technical issues at play when such situations as environmental pollution arise.

He revealed that during the course of the last 12 months, several sites of PERENCO caused grave environmental damage notably through leakages from its pipelines transporting hydrocarbons.

Mouba said that all the leakages and resultant environmental damage had been the subject of exchanges between the administration and PERENCO.

He added that the company must take all the necessary measures with a view to limiting the effects of the pollution in the affected zones and expressed regrets that PERENCO had “not completely done the work”.

PERENCO Director-General, Baptiste Breton, recognised the responsibility of his company for the pollution and “reassured the government of its willingness to put everything in place to ensure the repairs of the damage caused by these incidents.

Breton added that several measures had already been taken and others would follow in the days ahead.

Forestry and Water Minister, White, during the meetings, spoke on the necessity for real communication between the various administrations.

He noted that if the state wanted a performant economy, it also had the obligation of preserving the environment in conformity with international engagements entered into by the president of the republic.

The Minister of Petroleum, Massassa, on his part, called for collaboration between petroleum operators and the various administrations which supervised them. 

He called for more transparency and communication on the part of PERENCO.

The parties are expected to hold another meeting Feb. 2.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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