Shell: Own Up and Pay Up to Clean Up the Niger Delta

Download PDF
shell niger delta

Two major oil spills at Bodo, Ogoniland, have never been cleaned up © Amnesty International

In the United States, the Occupy Wall Street movement has spotlighted the big banks for their role spreading toxic investments and contributing to economic deprivation.  Meanwhile in Nigeria, Amnesty’s new report, The true tragedy: delays and failures in tackling oil spills in the Niger Delta reveals how spills of toxic crude oil from the operations of big oil companies, like Shell, have harmed people’s health and devastated their livelihoods.

In August and December 2008, two major oil spills disrupted the lives of the 69,000 people living in Bodo, a town in the Niger Delta.  Three years on, Shell has yet to take full responsibility for the spills, clean up the damage, and provide compensation to the people whose lives have been affected.

Interviewed for the Amnesty International report, Bodo resident Regina Porobari described how she used to trade fish while her husband used to be a fisherman.  After the August 2008 spill, the fish in their creek died or were too polluted to eat.  Even the harvest from her vegetable garden has shrunk.

“Many families can’t afford to buy food with enough nutrients….Everyone is struggling.”

The lives of tens of thousands of people have been directly affected by the spills and the ongoing pollution.  Many are worried about their health.  Those, like Regina Porobari, who fished or farmed have had their livelihood decimated while local food prices have soared.

Shell’s failure to clean up in Bodo contradicts both international human rights standards and Nigerian law.  Had Shell immediately stopped the spills and cleaned up the oil, the company could have prevented the devastation to the Bodo community.  In fact, it is Shell’s failure to comply with Nigerian regulations for a timely and proper clean-up that represents the true tragedy of its Bodo disaster.

As tragic as it is, the Bodo disaster is but one of a pattern of oil spills in the Niger Delta.  In August 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published the report “Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland.”  In this first ever independent scientific study of oil pollution in the region, UNEP found that the people of the Niger Delta have been exposed to widespread and severe contamination for decades.  This pollution has affected the community’s drinking water.  One local fisherman explained:

“People used to collect [the rain] for drinking water.  But today even the rain water is contaminated.  It looks black.”

Amnesty International has already called on the Nigerian government to ensure clean up and compensation of communities in the Niger Delta.

Amnesty is now calling on Shell to contribute the full $1 billion identified by UNEP as the start-up amount needed to establish an independent fund to clean up the pollution in Ogoniland.  We are also petitioning the oil company to carry out a comprehensive clean-up in Bodo in consultation with the community.  Finally, we are urging the company review its entire operations in the Niger Delta and ensure appropriate clean up, community consultation, and compensation payments.

Please take action telling Shell to own up, pay up, and clean up their mess!

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

18 thoughts on “Shell: Own Up and Pay Up to Clean Up the Niger Delta

  1. Shame on Shell! I refuse to buy their gas anymore knowing how irresponsible this company is. The Niger Delta oil spill is a disaster and so much life – both animal and vegetaion has been lost due to the devastating consequences of the spill. Do the right thing Shell – clean up after yourself, like you would in your own home! With all the other human made disasters taking place around the world, there's no need to add more! This is our planet, it allows us to harvest it, but we should be able to know how to protect the resources that grant us such opportunities. And if we don't know how to properly protect, we should learn how! Learn how to own up to your responsibilities Shell and clean up after yourself! Help restore the the Niger Delta to its pristine self that it was before you ruined it!

  2. I refuse to buy your product, and have told all my friends of your greed and destruction of the Niger Delta… CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!

  3. Shame on Shell! I refuse to buy their gas anymore knowing how irresponsible this company is. The Niger Delta oil spill is a disaster and so much life – both animal and vegetaion has been lost due to the devastating consequences of the spill. Do the right thing Shell – clean up after yourself, like you would in your own home! With all the other human made disasters taking place around the world, there’s no need to add more! This is our planet, it allows us to harvest it, but we should be able to know how to protect the resources that grant us such opportunities. And if we don’t know how to properly protect, we should learn how! Learn how to own up to your responsibilities Shell and clean up after yourself! Help restore the the Niger Delta to its pristine self that it was before you ruined it!

  4. Okay, I get it. You don't give a damn about people or their environment–unless it will somehow translate to $; the only thing that rings your bell is corporate profits.

    Now see if you can get this: Until you face up to your responsibilities–one being cleaning up the Niger Delta–I'm not buy a soupcon (that's a wee cup) of your precious oil. And I'll also be telling my friends to give Shell the boot. Suck that up!!

  5. I refuse to buy your product, and have told all my friends of your greed and destruction of the Niger Delta… CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!

  6. Shame on you the world is watching. We still remember the hand you had in South African Apartheid. Again you show how cheaply you value human life. Do the right thing because it IS the right thing to do, not because it makes you and the share holders money.

  7. I am encouraging my friends and family to boycott your products, and affiliated companies and to sell off your stock. You have made record profits since the Bush Era. You can AFFORD to clean this up 100%. Do so!

  8. We are all one people and one world, there is ethics. Be and act ethically. Expect nothing less from yourself that that which brings the best in humanity, and is in the best interest of humanity. Be in responsibility, pay, clean, restore, learn, and change so as to put people and the environment first.

  9. Okay, I get it. You don’t give a damn about people or their environment–unless it will somehow translate to $; the only thing that rings your bell is corporate profits.

    Now see if you can get this: Until you face up to your responsibilities–one being cleaning up the Niger Delta–I’m not buy a soupcon (that’s a wee cup) of your precious oil. And I’ll also be telling my friends to give Shell the boot. Suck that up!!

  10. This is my home country, where I was born and raised so it hits really close to home. This oil spill has been going on for years and the government turned their backs because these large corporations fill their coffers.Shell saw what British Petroleum did and so it is time for them to act. I'm immensely overjoyed that Amnesty and the rest of the world are shedding more light on this devastating situation that has plagued the Niger-Delta. It's time to hold these large corporations accountable to their pledge towards social responsibility starting here and spreading through other parts of the world. I am happy to be a part of this movement.

  11. Shame on you the world is watching. We still remember the hand you had in South African Apartheid. Again you show how cheaply you value human life. Do the right thing because it IS the right thing to do, not because it makes you and the share holders money.

  12. I am encouraging my friends and family to boycott your products, and affiliated companies and to sell off your stock. You have made record profits since the Bush Era. You can AFFORD to clean this up 100%. Do so!

  13. We are all one people and one world, there is ethics. Be and act ethically. Expect nothing less from yourself that that which brings the best in humanity, and is in the best interest of humanity. Be in responsibility, pay, clean, restore, learn, and change so as to put people and the environment first.

  14. This is my home country, where I was born and raised so it hits really close to home. This oil spill has been going on for years and the government turned their backs because these large corporations fill their coffers.Shell saw what British Petroleum did and so it is time for them to act. I’m immensely overjoyed that Amnesty and the rest of the world are shedding more light on this devastating situation that has plagued the Niger-Delta. It’s time to hold these large corporations accountable to their pledge towards social responsibility starting here and spreading through other parts of the world. I am happy to be a part of this movement.