- Title: NIGERIA: Shell under fire in Niger Delta again for further oil spillage
- Date: 13th October 2011
- Summary: RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA (OCTOBER 10, 2011) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WAVING PALM LEAVES AND SINGING WOMAN HOLDING UP BOTTLE OF WATER FROM THE RIVER SHOUTING "THIS IS THE KIND WE ARE DRINKING" BRIDGE OVER RIVER WOMAN COLLECTING WATER FROM RIVER (SOUNDBITE) (English) THANKGOD ALBERT, PROTESTER SAYING: "We made this protest so that the Shell can not pass here to get access to wherever they are working." POWER LINES SMOKE FROM SHELL WORK STATION RISING ABOVE TREELINE MORE OF PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (English) AZA EZEKIEL, LOCAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS LEADER SAYING: "We are protesting because we have been cheated. The women and entire Edagberi community have been cheated. Despite the number of oil wells that these communities are producing, over 50 oil wells in this land, but nothing. No impact, nothing both governmental and even the Shell itself." HOUSES IN LOCAL AREA OIL SPILLING OUT OF HOLE IN THE GROUND VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM RUPTURE POINT OBI ATAMA, LOCAL FARMER LOOKING AT DAMAGE WITH A FRIEND THE RIVER (SOUNDBITE) (English) OBI ATAMA, LOCAL FARMER SAYING: "The spillage that is occurring now has damaged our crops damaged our ponds and there is no way to eat fish again. Our people now are crying about this place. I need Agip to come and close this point of spill immediately." VARIOUS OF WOMEN SINGING AND DANCING WITH PLACARDS AND LEAVES DURING PROTEST
- Embargoed: 28th October 2011 13:00
- Location: Nigeria, Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Business,Disasters,Environment,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA2NSCJGYUPPN13QFRP4B6P41C5
- Story Text: Local communities held a protest on Monday (October 10) in the town of Edagberi in Rivers State, Nigeria, as part of the ongoing effort to force the international energy giant Shell to deal with damaging oil spills.
Holding aloft plastic bottles filled with murky brown water collected from the river near the leak site, protesters said the spill has poisoned their water supply. They vowed to continue protesting until Shell, which has been operating in the oil rich Niger Delta for over 50 years, cleans up the spill.
"We made this protest so that the Shell can not pass here to get access to wherever they are working," said protester, Thankgod Albert.
The oil rich Niger Delta is a vast wetlands region in southern Nigeria where thousands of kilometres of waterways and creeks vein through communities where many live on less than 2 US dollars a day, despite the wealth beneath their feet.
A United Nations paper earlier this year was critical of the widespread pollution Shell causes, and does not clear up in the Delta.
Shell and other foreign oil firms operating in Africa's largest oil and gas industry say the majority of oil spills are caused by sabotage or oil theft.
Both the Nigerian government and Shell are investigating the U.N. oil spill evidence.
Meanwhile, local activists say their communities are being given no say in how the land they live on is used and no compensation for the damage caused.
"We are protesting because we have been cheated. The women and entire Edagberi community have been cheated. Despite the number of Oil wells that these communities are producing, over 50 oil wells in this land, but nothing (has been done). No impact, nothing both Governmental and even the Shell itself," said Aza Ezekiel, a women's rights activist from Edagberi.
Local farmers say their livelihoods are under threat because of the spill.
"The spillage that is occurring now has damaged our crops damaged our ponds and there is no way to eat fish again. Our people now are crying about this place. I need Agip to come and close this point of spill immediately," said Obi Atama, a farmer.
Militant groups have carried out widespread attacks on oil infrastructure in recent years, at their peak in 2006 cutting out more than a third of the OPEC member's oil production.
An amnesty in 2009 saw thousands of militants lay down their weapons and major sabotage strikes have been limited since, although community grievances still prompt unrest.
A report published this week by a London based research group found widespread evidence that Shell routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its operations in the 1990s.
Platform, a London-based non-government organisation monitoring the oil and gas industry, said in the 75-page report that Shell paid government forces who have attacked, tortured and killed Nigerians living in the creeks and swamplands of the Niger Delta.
Shell denied the allegations, saying it respects human rights wherever it works but acknowledged that sometimes its actions caused tensions between communities in Nigeria.
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