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Shell Neglects Court Orders in Umuorie Isimiri Community, Nigeria


Umuorie Isimiri Community is located in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State. The community people are predominately farmers. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has eight oil wells with Isimiri Flow Station located by the Imo River, where associated gas is flared daily. Shell Storage tank for borehole water poisoned the community. Conflict exists between the community people and Shell due to the non compliance by Shell, following a court judgement delivered by Court of Appeal Owerri in Imo State, ordering Shell to pay special damages of Naria 1.49 billion (more than USD 9 million) to the community for oil spill and environmental degradation.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell Neglects Court Orders in Umuorie Isimiri Community, Nigeria
State or province:Abia State
Location of conflict:Umuorie Isimiri Community, Ukwa West Local Government Area
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Gas flaring
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:05/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action, Community groups, Trade Unions
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills
Potential: Air pollution, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Genetic contamination, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:-Shell should comply with the judgement of the Court of Appeal Owerri, Imo State ordering it to pay special damages of N1.49 billion to the Umuorie Isimiri Community
-The Federal Government should compel Shell to immediately halt gas flaring in Umuorie Isimiri Community
-The federal and state authorities should compel Shell to provide clean drinking water to the Umuorie Isimiri Community and compensate community folks that fell ill after consuming the poisoned water
-The High court in Port Harcourt should be compelled to hasten the progress in the case to enable the community people get justice.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Shell has not responded to the court order to pay 1.49 billion Naria (more than USD 9 million) as compensation for oil spill and environmental degradation to the impacted community.
Sources & Materials

ERA field visits report
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nnimmo Bassey
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:563
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