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Shell, Rumuekpe Clan Soaked in Crude Oil, Nigeria


Mgbuodo is a small rural community in Rumuekpe clan in Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) began activities in the Community in 1963 with four production locations. The inhabitants are poor and their community is highly undeveloped. An estimated 90 percent of the rural population depends solely on farming and fishing for their livelihoods.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell, Rumuekpe Clan Soaked in Crude Oil, Nigeria
State or province:Rivers State
Location of conflict:Mgbuodo community in Rumuekpe clan in Emuoha 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:28/08/2002
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, Social Action
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Genetic contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Proposal and 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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Social Action Nigeria.

Knee Deep in Crude, (2007) Vol 2.

Fueling Conflicts in the Niger Delta (2006)

A Publication of Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Meta information
Contributor:Godwin Uyi Ojo
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:568
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