Shell Neglects Court Orders in Umuorie Isimiri Community, Nigeria


Umuorie Isimiri Community is located in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State. The community people are predominately farmers. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has eight oil wells with Isimiri Flow Station located by the Imo River, where associated gas is flared daily. Shell Storage tank for borehole water poisoned the community. Conflict exists between the community people and Shell due to the non compliance by Shell, following a court judgement delivered by Court of Appeal Owerri in Imo State, ordering Shell to pay special damages of Naria 1.49 billion (more than USD 9 million) to the community for oil spill and environmental degradation.

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Basic Data
NameShell Neglects Court Orders in Umuorie Isimiri Community, Nigeria
ProvinceAbia State
SiteUmuorie Isimiri Community, Ukwa West Local Government Area
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Gas flaring
Specific Commodities
Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date05/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesRoyal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actorsNigerian National Petroleum Corporation
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEnvironmental Rights Action, Community groups, Trade Unions
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Oil spills
Potential: Air pollution, Fires, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Genetic contamination, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Under negotiation
Development of Alternatives-Shell should comply with the judgement of the Court of Appeal Owerri, Imo State ordering it to pay special damages of N1.49 billion to the Umuorie Isimiri Community

-The Federal Government should compel Shell to immediately halt gas flaring in Umuorie Isimiri Community

-The federal and state authorities should compel Shell to provide clean drinking water to the Umuorie Isimiri Community and compensate community folks that fell ill after consuming the poisoned water

-The High court in Port Harcourt should be compelled to hasten the progress in the case to enable the community people get justice.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Shell has not responded to the court order to pay 1.49 billion Naria (more than USD 9 million) as compensation for oil spill and environmental degradation to the impacted community.
Sources and Materials

ERA field visits report
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorNnimmo Bassey
Last update08/04/2014