Writer: By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent

These dwelling in Nigeria’s oil-rich delta are suffering a “human rights tragedy inflicted by a long time of environmental harm triggered in large part by Royal Dutch Shell, Amnesty International claimed.

The report Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty within the Niger Delta, released yesterday in Abuja, says the contamination has broken farmland, destroyed fish stocks and polluted the air and water, while oil companies response has been deceptive or inadequate.

Shell is the most important operator in the area and has lengthy argued that insecurity within the Large Pressure Vessel On-site Tank Delta ? the place its operations are routinely attacked by militants ? is responsible for a lot of the spillage and resultant environmental destruction. Nevertheless, the brand new research alleges the oil big has exploited the instability and lack of oversight to cover up oil spills brought on by its personal out-of-date or faulty equipment.

“Oil companies have enormous affect over the investigation of oil spills and other trade-related injury, the report alleges. “The firms frequently designate the causes of spills, and communities can’t hold them accountable after they disagree. /p>

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Impartial auditors estimate that as much as 13 million barrels of oil have been spilt in the Delta, an amount equal to an Exxon Valdez catastrophe every year for forty years. The Niger Delta is house to some 31 million people, the majority of whom stay in abject poverty despite the $600bn in oil revenues generated since extraction started in 1958. Nigeria’s own watchdog stories that there are 2,000 present spills, the vast majority of them from Shell operations.

The report highlights a spill at Bodo in Ogoniland final August attributable to a pipeline leak. Oil poured into the swamp protecting the world in a thick slick and killing fish. Native people’s entry to meals and water was devastated. Shell has disputed the circumstances of the spill. Emergency assist in the type of 50 baggage of rice, 50 bags of beans, 50 baggage of garri, 50 cartons of sugar and 50 cartons of dry peak milk was rejected as “insulting and provocative by the group.

David Williams, for Shell, stated the report did not reflect the difficulty of working in a area the place employees are below fixed risk, five having lost their lives in assaults and 133 being kidnapped. “The Amnesty report focuses on oil and fuel without recognising the reality of the state of affairs, he stated. He added that eighty five per cent of all spills in the realm are on account of sabotage. In the final ten days alone there have been 5 attacks. Mr Williams said that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, which is 55 per cent owned by the Nigerian government, has pledged to wash up all spills regardless of the trigger.

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