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Shell refuses to clean up spill at Ikata community, Nigeria


Ikata is a relatively big rural settlement in the Ekpeye ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta. Its administratively located in the Ahoda East Local Government Area of Rivers State. Subsistence farming and fishing are the major occupation of the people. Shell Petroleum Development Company started its oil activities in the community in 1964.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell refuses to clean up spill at Ikata community, Nigeria
State or province:Rivers State
(municipality or city/town)Ikata Community, Ahoada 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
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:28/06/2002
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actors:Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:-SPDC should take immediate steps to halt the spill, clean the mess, and overhaul its aged facility to forestall and further recurrence

-Shell should send relief materials and pay compensation to the affected people.

-The Company should demonstrate corporate responsibility and good citizenship accept their liability and avoid corporate deceit and arrogance in the Niger Delta.

Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Spill has caused deplorable environmental destruction and exposed people to real threat of hunger, disease and untold hardship. Shell has not shown any genuine intention to either stop the spill or clean the impacted area, despite its consequences on the rural economy, ecology and people.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

OilWatch report Nigeria 2002
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

National Mirror online
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Nnimmo Bassey
Last update08/04/2014