Oil spills in Banga Kayo: “From the beginning … we denounced the proximity of the oil wells to the water sources.”

‘Wing Wah’, a subsidiary of the Chinese group ‘Southernpec’, has the operating licence for oil and gas exploration near the village of Banga Kayo, about 30km from Pointe-Noire. Residents have accused the company of polluting the Loémé River and of regularly spilling crude oil on the village’s roads. Between 2020 and 2022, the company’s operations were twice suspended by the Ministry of Environment for failing to respect environmental laws, but both times these measures were lifted, and operations resumed without any public explanation. Then on 21 December 2022, the pipeline connecting the Banga Kayo field to the Djeno oil terminal leaked. No accurate information has been released on the exact quantity of oil spilled, nor on the reasons for the leak. The Minister of Environment called for an environmental audit, care for the local population and the restoration of the environment at the site, but at the time of publication of our report, no information has been provided by the company on whether such measures have been implemented. Amnesty International has sent several letters requesting information from Wing Wah, but it has never replied.

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