The environmental restoration of a region in Nigeria’s southern delta which has been affected by more than 50 years of oil operations could prove to be the world’s “most wide-ranging and long-term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken,” a landmark study by the UN has warned.

The report, released by the UN’s Environment Programme on Thursday, also suggested the Nigerian government and the oil industry establish an initial $1bn trust fund to help pay for the clean-up in the Ogoniland area within the Niger Delta.


A little justice maybe, for the people ... as opposed to the corporation?:

Niger Delta villagers go to the Hague to fight against oil giant Shell
This once self-sufficient community suffered from the excesses of oil firms and corrupt officials. Now, the villagers are blamed for everything and the arms dealers are having a field day

Goi is now a dead village. The two fish ponds, bakery and chicken farm that used to be the pride and joy of its chief deacon, Barrisa Tete Dooh, lie abandoned, covered in a thick black layer. The village's fishing creek is contaminated; the school has been looted; the mangrove forests are coated in bitumen and everyone has left, refugees from a place blighted by the exploitation of the region's most valuable asset: crude oil.

.... "Oil companies have been exploiting Nigeria's weak regulatory system for too long," said Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International. "They do not adequately prevent environmental damage and they frequently fail to properly address the devastating impact that their bad practice has on people's lives."


Shell Oil sucked up 120,000 barrels of oil from the region and, as commonly happens, in 2004 a pipeline burst, with Shell Oil pulling out the usual corporate card, blaming the people for sabotage while it appears that it's the usual, cheap corporate trick: corrosion of decades-old pipelines.

Nevertheless, there are many directions to which fingers may be pointed: oil-stealing gangs which morphed into organized crime, arms dealers who always flourish wherever organized crime flourishes, "The arms trade in the delta is dominated by Ukrainian and Russian dealers who swap automatic weapons for illegal bunkered oil...," the usual motley crew of corrupt government officials, greedy corporate shills who shack up with the local warlords to pad their own purses, and the general moral filth which seems to thrive wherever rich finds of oil are found.

Originally posted to Karen Hedwig Backman on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 12:55 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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