Some SACA staff inspecting some building projects in Gbarain/Ekpettiama Cluster executed for the communities by Shell, for the GMoU Review. Some of the projects were rejected by the communities because they fell short of quality for their costs. For example, this yellow building was said to have cost N28 million Naira, an equivalent of US$140,000 at the time.
Dennis of SACA inspecting and documenting road projects, mostly concrete walkways through host villages, constructed by Shell. Some of the communities welcomed the concrete walkways while others are not happy with them because of the quality and because they thought human development such as scholarships and skills training would be more useful to them.
From time to time, SACA hosts students and researchers from various universities across the world; from the US, The Netherlands, the UK, etc. This lady who came from Ireland, is one of them. They come to carry out their researches with us and we assist them, bringing them around major areas and helping them to meet and discuss with relevant stakeholders.
Apart from active personal observations, we also use various methodologies for our researches on the development projects and the communities’ experiences with them, including questionnaires, interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions. FGDs with community leaders, such as this one with Koroama paramount ruler and his cabinet, are daily activities in SACA.
Many houses are built by the oil companies in a host community. Most common among them are king’s/chief’s palaces, townhalls, classroom blocks and laboratories. In some cases, such as in Ogboloma community, whole estates are built for people displaced from their ancestral homes by the siting of companies’ facilities such as pipeline Right of Way (ROW). SACA monitors their executions to ensure standards, transparency and accountability, and their completion. SACA has got Agip to finish and equip it’s community health center for Ikarama community which it had abandoned for over 10 years.
To be able to peacefully explore and drill their oil/gas, companies often promise host communities some amenities such as electricity. At the end, some of the communities allege that the amenities are either not provided or were provided with less quality than was stated in the agreements. SACA works with the Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) and the Community Trusts (CTs) under the GMoU to ensure that whatever are promised to the communities are delivered, as and when due. After years of pressure from SACA, not only Ogboloma, but the entire Gbarain Kingdom has got electricity from Shell.
Majority of the development projects being executive by Shell in the communities hosting their multi-billion dollar Integrated Oil/Gas Gathering Project (IOGP) in Bayelsa State are roads, specifically concrete walkways. Some are executed to high standards while others are shoddy, depending on the contractor. SACA works with the CDBs and the CTs to ensure that quality is always maintained.
SACA has advocated for the completion of many abandoned projects, including roads, electricity projects, etc. But the most worrisome are abandoned water projects. There are numerous of them in Bayelsa State. SACA has pressed the companies for years to complete some of them, especially the Gbarain Mega Water project started and abandoned by Shell. SACA got Agip and Shell to provide potable water for Ikarama community.
To get the general consensus of the entire community and ensure adequate representation, we conduct detailed researches, disaggregated based on various demographics such as gender and vulnerabilities. This women Focus Group Discussion (with SACA's Abba at the foreground) is one of the several in Nyambiri in Okordia-Zarama, during the 2nd evaluation of Shell’s GMoU in 2017. This is one of the sessions during our last evaluation of Shell's GMoU in Okordia/Zarama Cluster (comprising 9 host communities).Details
Another evaluation has been concluded by SACA on the GMoU in the Gbarain-Ekpetiama Cluster (comprising 11 host communities). This community, Kumbo-Ama, have refused to allow Shell operate in their land until they were recognised as an autonomous community by Shell and treated as such in project allocations. SACA has engaged them and the company for over 8 years. In this gender-disaggregated FGD (men group, with SACA's Ukamaka at the background), they point out what have worked and where improvements were needed in projects executed in their communities by Shell.Details