Shell Pollutes Owerewer Community, Nigeria


The community Owerewere hosts Shells two major oil trunk lines that traverse the community lands. Before the current spill, Owerewere experienced oil spills in the 1980s. The impacted community, is in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of Rivers and is one of the largest settlements in the area. Fishing, farming and some hunting activities are the main occupation of the people.

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Basic Data
NameShell Pollutes Owerewer Community, Nigeria
ProvinceRivers State
SiteAbua/Odual 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)
Specific Commodities
Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date11/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesRoyal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from Nigeria
Relevant government actorsNESREA , NOSDRA
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEnvironmental Rights Action, Oilwatch Nigeria, Community Groups, Trade Unions
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Trade unions
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Genetic contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Infectious diseases
Potential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Under negotiation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of Alternatives-The Federal Government should step in and investigate the allegations against Shell.

-Shell should formally visit Owerewere community with a view to carrying the host community along in the bid to ascertain the cause of spill and finding a lasting solution.

-Shell should follow due process and carry out proper clean up of the impacted environment.

-Shell should compensate the impacted community adequately.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The affected communities still count their lose from truncated livelihoods, as Shell refuse to conduct further remediation, and pay compensation.
Sources and Materials

Nigeria Federal Government agencies, such as NESREA and NOSDRA. NESREA (National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency) has responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigerias natural resources in general and environmental technology including coordination, and liaison with, relevant stakeholders within and outsider Nigeria on maters of enforcement of environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws policies and guidelines


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ContributorGodwin Uyi Ojo
Last update08/04/2014