Multi-national oil company, Shell, lied when it claimed it had cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published on Tuesday.
The report titled, “Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta”, documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago.
Amnesty said the report was published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Mr. Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned relentlessly against damage caused to the Ogoni area of Rivers State, was executed by the Sani Abacha junta on November 10, 1995.
“By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.
“Oil spills have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the people of the Niger Delta depend on for their food and livelihood. Anyone who visits these spill sites can see and smell for themselves how the pollution has spread across the land,” he said.