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Martyn Day condemns oil pollution clean up operation in Niger Delta as ‘totally amateurish’

The Niger Delta is still badly contaminated with oil which leaked from rusting pipelines

Martyn Day overlooking the polluted delta region in Nigeria

23 September 2012

Today’s Observer reports on the difficulty facing the Ogoni people near Bodo in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.  Leigh Day is currently acting for 11,000 local people most of whom depend on the devastated fishing industry for their living.

Shell accepted responsibility for oil spills that happened in 2008/9 and pledged to restore the creeks which were badly polluted by leaking oil. Martyn Day has recently returned from a visit to the delta as part of a team assessing the clean-up which Shell said would happen.  He said: 

"A comprehensive clean-up is yet to get under way and the creeks remain extremely polluted. Next to nothing has happened and where work has commenced it has been totally amateurish.

"Shell seems to be trying to undertake the clean-up on the cheap which will mean the people will be left with the aftermath for generations."

The UN, Amnesty International and the Nigerian government have all expressed deep disappointment with Shell’s lack of action in the region.  Impoverished local fishermen have been left without a source of income, and have received no compensation. The Ogoni fishing and farming communities have accused Shell of applying different standards to clean-ups in Nigeria compared with the rest of the world. Amnesty has described the oil spill investigations 'a fiasco'.

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