Members of the Bodo community have described how an oil spill occurred in Bodo in August 2008 and oil was left pouring out at this spill site until November 2008. A second spill in Bodo occurred in December 2008, which again was allowed to pollute the local area for months before SPDC clamped it on site. SPDC accepts responsibility for these two oil spills. It accepts that they were both the result of equipment failure of SPDC’s old and poorly maintained pipelines.
Expert evidence suggests that over 500,000 barrels of oil could have been allowed to pour out into the local environment as a result of these two oil spills. The spills have devastated a broad area of local land, mangroves and waterways. In particular, the spilt oil has had a devastating effect on fish in the area, whose numbers have been decimated.
This has had severe consequences on the local fishing industry, on which the community relies. The result has been widespread financial ruin for much of the community.
Before the spills, members of the community enjoyed an area that had abundant fish and wildlife and was rich in fauna and lush mangroves. Now, the local communities are left to live in a barren wasteland covered in oil and are unable to escape the constant smell and sight of oil, and the negative effects this has on people’s health and well-being. The spills have caused severe poverty for members of the community and left them living in a highly unpleasant, contaminated environment (left).
Leigh Day is seeking to obtain compensation for the devastation of the local environment, and for the impact that the spills have had on individuals’ livelihoods and lives in general. Leigh Day also plans to ensure that SPDC repairs the damage it has caused from the oil spills and properly cleans and remediates the affected areas.