Shell accused of lying over Nigeria oil spill clean-up

Thirteen out of 15 areas visited between July and September this year were still 'visibly polluted.
Thirteen out of 15 areas visited between July and September this year were still ‘visibly polluted.

(Aljazeera) Nigeria, Africa – Shell oil company accused of making false claims about extent of clean-up operations and urged to do more for those effected.

Shell has been accused of making false claims about the extent of its oil spill clean-up operations in Nigeria and urged to take more action to help worst-hit communities.

Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) charged the oil major with failing to implement recommendations from a critical 2011 UN report.

Amnesty and the CEHRD’s claims come in a new report, “Clean It Up: Shell’s False Claims about Oil Spill Response in the Niger Delta”.

The 38-page document said most of the recommendations of a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report had not been implemented since its publication five years ago.

Thirteen out of 15 areas visited between July and September this year were still “visibly polluted” or contaminated, despite claims to the contrary by Shell and the government.

The inadequate clean up left thousands of people “exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Amnesty researcher Mark Dummett.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) said it rejected the groups’ claims.

The SPDC said it was “committed to the implementation of the UNEP report”.

It had “initiated action on all the recommendations addressed directly to it,” it added.

“We disagree with the assertions made with regard to implementation … and would like to reiterate that we have consistently and publicly reported our actions in this regard as well as highlighted ongoing challenges of crude oil theft and illegal refining,” the SPDC said.

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