Blog by Sarah Shoraka from Platform and Patrick Kane from War on Want.
Yesterday, communities took to the streets to protest in the Niger Delta. They were protesting three years of inaction by Shell in response to UN study which found that the company had failed to clean up decades of oil pollution in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta. We have been working with a wide range of social movements and organisations in Nigeria, plus international NGOs to monitor the situation and to push Shell to take responsibility for its pollution.
In May, we released Polluted Promises. It showed that despite Shell’s promises, people in Ogoniland are dying, sick, can’t feed themselves and have no clean water because Shell destroyed their environment by drilling for oil and didn’t clean up.
Following protests and questions at Shell’s UK shareholder meeting by Platform and War on Want, Shell’s new CEO Ben Van de Beurden announced that he will visit the Niger Delta to speed up action by the company to tackle oil pollution. He also stated Shell has put cash aside in a “verifiable account” for the clean-up to happen.
But, despite this, 3 years after the UN study showed exactly what Shell needs to do, further monitoring work released today by Platform and a range of organisations shows that the company has not taken any meaningful action. This is a crucial moment to support communities in Ogoniland in order to build on the momentum and keep up the pressure. We need to know how Shell will spend the money and where it is cleaning up oil pollution.
If you haven’t already, you can sign Platform’s petition to Shell’s CEO and add your name to War on Want’s letter. Please email friends and share on social media. Shell has already brought enough suffering to the Ogoni people: it must stop stalling and act now to begin the clean up of its toxic legacy in Ogoniland.