Shell 'inaccurate' figures exposed at start of Amnesty's week of action

So here it is our week of action on Shell. Let’s roll up the sleeves and begin.

Now for those of you in the dark, big multi-national oil giant Shell has been at the centre of allegations that they’ve ruined the livelihoods of millions of people in the Niger Delta.

The Niger Delta is an area roughly the size of Scotland. It used to be a picturesque place full of beautiful wetlands and villages. But decades of oil pollution have devastated the lives of the 31 million people that live there. Now, the fish they catch, the water they drink and the air they breathe are foully contaminated. And Shell is one of the companies responsible.

To kick start the week of action, we looked at the size of the spills in the region that have led to the oil pollution. Shell has always downplayed them, but today we have released figures that show the reality.

Amnesty looked at the case of Bodo, a Niger Delta town of some 69,000 people. In 2008 a fault in a Shell pipeline resulted in tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluting the land and creek surrounding the town.

Shell’s official investigation concluded that only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt in total. Nice try. But an independent assessment carried out by US firm Accufacts puts the real figure at between 103,000 barrels and 311,000 barrels – that’s a whopping 60 times more at least.

It really is about time Shell woke up and smelt the pollution. They need to own up, clean up and pay up.

And we’re asking everyone to add their voice to our call and sign our global petition to Shell’s chief executive Peter Voser here.

To continue the week of action, we will be releasing a brand new film starring the Academy award nominated actress Sophie Okonedo.

The dramatic two-minute film called Livelihoods throws a spotlight on the devastating impact of oil pollution across the Niger Delta as it artistically depicts various individuals’ work being ruined by oil.
Watch out for even more action and events as the week unfolds.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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