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Oil spill from Shell pipeline fouls farms and a river in a long-polluted part of Nigeria

2 min read

AP journalist Taiwo Adebayo writes about an oil spill at a Shell facility in Nigeria that has contaminated farmland and a river. It's upended livelihoods in the fishing and farming communities in part of the Niger Delta, which has long endured environmental pollution caused by the oil industry.

In a nutshell:

The spill originated from the Trans-Niger Pipeline operated by Shell, which has faced resistance from local communities due to environmental pollution caused by the oil industry. While the volume of the spill is yet to be determined, activists have shared images of contaminated land, oil-covered water surfaces and dead fish. Despite attempts to contain the leak, the cleanup efforts have been stalled due to mistrust and past grievances between the residents and Shell, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by the Niger Delta region in addressing environmental damage caused by oil production.

Key quote:

”A credible cleanup would have been a beacon of hope for the Niger Delta and other areas in Africa that have suffered oil pollution, but no credible cleanup is ongoing,” said Ledum Mitee, a veteran Ogoni environmental activist and former president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People. “It is a cover-up, and we do not see the impact.”

The big picture:

The Niger Delta continues to grapple with significant challenges in addressing the environmental damage inflicted by oil production. Decades of pollution have taken a toll on the region's communities, depriving them of clean water, damaging agriculture and fishing industries, and fueling a cycle of violence. Despite promises of cleanup initiatives and recommendations from independent assessments, progress has been slow. The lack of a credible and effective cleanup effort further exacerbates the frustration and despair felt by the people of the Niger Delta, who continue to bear the brunt of environmental degradation caused by oil production.

Read the article at the Associated Press.

There are countless examples of energy companies polluting the environments in which they operate. One example is this EHN special report about communities across the U.S. that face environmental injustices.

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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