Nigeria: Amnesty International report alleges that Shell's oil spill response is ineffective, negatively impacting communities

Amnesty report of Shell oil spills

An Amnesty International report has raised concerns regarding the negative environmental, health and livelihood impacts of repeated oil spills in the Niger Delta and questions the effectiveness of Shell's oil spill response strategy. The report, which contains a response from Shell Nigeria, as well as related media items are provided below: 

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Article
4 November 2015

Nigeria: Amnesty Intl. & local NGO say Shell makes "blatantly false" claims about oil spill cleanup - with comments by Shell

Author: Daniel Finnan, RFI (France)

"Nigerian government failed to ensure Shell cleaned up Niger Delta oil spills: campaigners", 3 Nov 2015: Nigeria’s government is ultimately responsible for failing to hold oil multinational Shell accountable for failing to properly clean up oil spills in the Niger Delta region, according to Amnesty International and Nigerian activists...A damning report by...[Amnesty] and Nigeria’s Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development accuses Shell of failing to clean up oil spills in Ogoniland and then making “blatantly false” claims about having dealt with pollution and contamination...In response to the allegations about the clean-up in Ogoniland, a spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria said that “without access to the full report it is difficult to verify and respond to the detailed claims made by this organisation”. The statement from Shell seen by RFI said it is “committed to cleaning up all spills from its facilities, irrespective of cause”.

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Report
3 November 2015

Nigeria: Amnesty International report critical of Shell's oil spill response, it claims is ineffectual; includes Shell statement

Author: Amnesty International

'Clean it up: Shell's false claims about oil spill response in the Niger Delta', 3 Nov 2015:…[O]il spills in the Niger Delta… have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the majority of the people in the region depend on for their food and livelihoods. Oil spills also contaminate drinking water and expose people to serious health risks. Preventing oil spills must be a priority, but once they occur, swift and effective clean-up and rehabilitation of pollution and environmental damage is critical to the protection of human rights. If pollution and environmental damage persist, then so…does the associated violation of human rights, driving people deeper into poverty through long-term damage to livelihoods and health. This report examines the adequacy and effectiveness of oil spill clean-up by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. It is part of ongoing work by Amnesty International and the Centre for the Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) to expose and challenge the human rights impacts of oil pollution in the Niger Delta…

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Article
3 November 2015

Nigeria: Amnesty report alleges that Shell has failed to clean up Niger Delta oil spills; includes company comments

Author: John Vidal, Guardian (UK)

'Amnesty report accuses Shell of failing to clean up Niger Delta oil spills', 3 Nov 2015:…[O]il spill sites in Nigeria identified by the UN, which Shell…claimed to have…cleaned up…are still polluted, says a report…UN…(Unep) inspectors…in 2010…found high levels of contamination…oil spreading into…cassava fields, and water supplies…Unep inspectors said, “Nothing appears to have been done about the pollution,” and urged an immediate decontamination…Earlier this year Amnesty International revisited… and found the site still massively contaminated…“Water containing oil … flows along the path of the Shell pipelines…soil is black and hard…the spills … have contaminated fields and a neighbouring forest…” says Amnesty…[and] Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Developmet (CEHRD)…Amnesty alleges that…contractors employed by Shell admit…to burying the pollution. The report…says…Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air…Shell said… “Implementation of the Unep report is part of a wider programme of remediation, pipeline protection, community engagement and social investment activities being undertaken…in Ogoniland...”...“…For many people of the region, oil has brought nothing but misery,” said Stevyn Obodoekwe, [of] CEHRD…

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Article
2 November 2015

"Slick PR can't disguise Shell's devastating oil pollution in Nigeria", says Amnesty

Author: Amnesty International

'Slick PR can't disguise Shell's devastating oil pollution in Nigeria', 3 Nov 2015:…[N]o amount of…PR can hide the…truth about Shell's ongoing pollution in…Nigeria’s…Niger Delta…Shell still hasn’t come up with…ideas for how to stop this…or how to clean up the environment properly afterwards…'Everything just died…[It] destroyed all the aquatic life in the stream where we used to fetch water - our farmlands, every living thing there…'[says] Barine Ateni, a farmer…Shell claims to have cleaned up the site…but our new research shows…this…isn’t true….[T]he United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found pollution many times above the government’s safety limits. When our researchers visited…four years after the most recent spill, we saw soil soaked with crude oil…[w]ater with an oily sheen…running down the hill…where many villagers…have…farms and fishponds.   'We are sad and angry, and we have been made poor,' says Barine. It’s easy to see why. Shell’s toxic legacy still lingers…its half-hearted clean ups having changed…nothing….[I]n the Niger Delta, oil pollution has destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people…[and] communities…have been driven…into poverty…

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