Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by oil pollution in the Niger Delta. Particularly the poorest and those who rely on traditional livelihoods such as fishing and agriculture.
The human rights implications are serious, under-reported and have received little attention from the government of Nigeria or the oil companies. The problems have been exacerbated by a lack of information.
Oil spills, waste dumping and gas flaring (gas is separated from oil and, in Nigeria, most of it is burnt as waste) are endemic in the Niger Delta. This pollution, which has affected the area for decades, has damaged the soil, water and air quality.
Communities in the Niger Delta frequently do not have access to even basic information about the impact the oil industry has on their lives – even when they are the “host” community.
Both the government of Nigeria and Shell – the main oil company operating on land in the Niger Delta – have a responsibility to clean up oil operations and come clean about the human impact of the oil industry in the Niger Delta.
Amnesty International is calling on the government of Nigeria and the new Chief Executive of Shell to clean up the oil industry and come clean on the impacts that oil pollution has on the rights of the people of the Niger Delta.
In particular, we are asking Shell’s new Chief Executive, during his first 100 days in charge, to disclose information on the impact of Shell’s operations in Nigeria and to make a public commitment to cleaning up Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta. Mr. Peter Voser takes up his post as Shell’s Chief Executive on 1 July 2009.
This work is part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity campaign which aims to end the human rights violations that drive and deepen global poverty. The campaign will mobilise people all over the world to demand that governments, corporations and others who have power listen to the voices of those living in poverty and recognise and protect their rights. For more information visit Demand Dignity section.