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Shell spill and pollution in the Bunu-Tai community, Ogoni land, Nigeria

Bunu-Tai community, their farmlands, and other small villages were polluted by Shell's spills who is not being held accountable


Bunu-Tai communiity engage in fishing and farming as part of the livelihoods and socioeconomic activities. Located in Tai Local Government area of River State, Nigeria, bounded by Bori camp and Khana local Government across Ogoniland. On 10th October 2013, Shells pipeline across the community burst and spills on community s farmlands and fish ponds due to an equipment failure by Shells installations, thereby affected neighbouring communities such as Nonwa Tai and Borobara Tai. The community members who are well known to be very hard working framers and depend on their farmlands and rivers around them to sustain themselves and their families have been engaged in this trade from their inception as mentioned by a community leader. The community has a large number of farmers, civil servants, fishermen and traders and equally vast deposits of crude oil which has contributed in revenue to the Nigerian government. Tai has an estimated population of about 5,200 inhabitants. Other several more small villages were also affected, unfortunately the spill has been left unabated since it occurred. Shell however declined to publicly ascertain the incidence while the community people awaits due compensation and clean up by SPDC.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Shell spill and pollution in the Bunu-Tai community, Ogoni land, Nigeria
State or province:Ogoni land, Rivers State
Location of conflict:Tai 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
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2,000 to 3,000
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria.(ERA/FoEN), Ogoni Solidarity Forun. (OSF)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants

Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Fires, Genetic contamination, Global warming, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Malnutrition, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:Shell to mobilize immediately on the site for proper cleanup of the farmlands.
• Independent audit of affected people be carried out and Shell compelled to pay adequate compensation to families and landlords affected.
• Shell to use this as an opportunity to commence immediate de-commissioning of its obsolete facilities that are littered all over Ogoni land
• The government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency begin immediate implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni land.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The community people continue to count their lost from the oil spillage. The spill released harmful substance into the surround causing lost of farmlands and fish ponds , and generally affected the socio -economic and cultural practices of the people. bring their entire livelihood to a decline.
Shell has not yet compensated the people and also clean up the spill from the area and affected villages.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

National oil spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is saddle with the responsibility to create, nurture and sustain a zero tolerance oil spill incident in the Nigerian Environment'. There mission is to: To restore and preserve our environment by ensuring best Oil field, storage and transmission practices in exploration, production and use of oil in the quest to achieve sustainable development in Nigeria

Nigeria Federal Government agencies, such as NESREA and NOSDRA. NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency) has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigeria s natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outsider Nigeria on maters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws policies and guidelines.

Meta information
Contributor:Afoke Ohwojeheri & Maria Obaseki (updated by Camila Rolando)
Last update29/03/2019
Conflict ID:584
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