Nigerians are taking oil company Shell to court in London.
People living within the vicinity of the Niger delta region of Nigeria are taking Shell to court over destructive pollution of the local water system. The company has been operating in the country for more than 86 years.
The company refuted their obligation to clean up local waters, saying it had no legal duty to clean up spills which they say are an indirect consequence of their operations. Shell says the spills are caused by illicit siphoning of oil by organised gangs.
However, representative of Nigerian claimants, Daniel Leader of Leigh Day, said:“This case raises important questions about the responsibilities of oil and gas companies. It appears that Shell is seeking to leave the Niger delta free of any legal obligation to address the environmental devastation caused by oil spills from its infrastructure over many decades.” … “It appears that Shell is seeking to leave the Niger Delta free of any legal obligation to address the environmental devastation caused by oil spills from its infrastructure over many decades,”
Locals say the spills are killing fish, ruining farmland and contaminating regional drinking water making it unsafe to consume. They also say they’re able to smell the scent of oil in their homes.
According to Shell’s own 2011 report, 17.5 million litres of oil have spilled into the Niger delta. A 2011 United Nations Environment Programme estimates it will take five years to clean up at a cost of £1 billion.