“The pollution is there, the problem is there, so we cannot go to the river. And being as we’re based on fishing, there is not any other way we can live with our family. Please and please, in order for peace to reign, let the federal government look into this problem immediately.” –Jacob Uka, community chairman
In late December oil giant Shell had a major oil spill in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. While Shell claims less than 40,000 barrels have leaked so far, some environmentalists say “as much as 550 million gallons of oil poured into the delta during Shell’s roughly 50 years of production in Nigeria — a rate roughly comparable to one Exxon Valdez disaster per year. An estimated 11 million gallons was released during the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.” -news.yahoo.com
So there’s a history of extensive environmental damage in the Niger Delta and this latest spill is the worst in a decade, but this has not happened with out protest form the people.
According to Democracy Now!: “[A] group of Nigerian protesters marched in the Niger Delta on Saturday calling on Royal Dutch Shell to do more to clean up last month’s massive oil spill. Thirteen villages in the Niger Delta have already been affected by the spill, the largest in Nigeria in 13 years. Protesters said the spill is killing off fish in the ocean.”
Watch the video above from when the news of the oil spill broke and DN!’s interview with Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria, which monitors spills around the country’s oil-rich southern delta.