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23 Jul 2012

Xan Rice, Financial Times

Environment: Pollution a threat to health in Ogoniland

...[L]ocals...maintain that the area was never properly cleaned up. This was confirmed last year in a landmark report that found both the soil and groundwater in Boobanabe were contaminated, and that “a detailed plan should be prepared for clean-up”...Unep said “pollution from over 50 years of oil operations has penetrated further and deeper than many may have supposed”...[N]early a year after the report was published, local communities and activists complain that little has been done...Shell said it welcomed the Unep report. While disputing some of the findings, the company said that its efforts at some sites had not been fully effective, and that it would check a sample of other locations. Since then it has been working with the state government to provide potable water to the affected communities and continued routine remediation efforts that predated the report. Jon Barnden, Shell’s communication manager for west Africa, says six or seven sites in Ogoniland are being cleaned up at present.