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Shell agrees to pay $15m for oil spill in Niger Delta communities



The international energy company, Shell has accepted to pay €15 million in compensation to three farmers and their villages in Niger Delta.

The farmers with the support of the Friends of the Earth, Netherlands, and two Nigerian lawyers, Chima Williams and Channa Samkalden, had in 2007 initiated legal proceedings in Hague for oil pollution in Goi (Rivers), Oruma (Bayelsa) and Ikot Ada Udo (Akwa Ibom).

A Dutch Court in 2021 ordered Shell to pay the claimants compensation over the oil spills that took place in the villages between 2004 and 2007.

In a statement issued on Friday in Benin by its Head of Media, Philip Jakpor, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) described the historic victory at the courts and the acceptance of Shell to pay the compensation as a victory for all.

Jakpor said the company had also agreed to install a leak detection system to prevent future oil spills in the villages.

Read also:Nigeria burns N264bn worth of revenue as Shell, Agbo, others flare 170.5bscf of gas

Williams, a counsel in the case and the Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, said the resilience of the farmers and the communities was a model that would galvanise other impacted communities in the region and elsewhere.

He said: “Justice may have been delayed but it has now been served. The resilience of the farmers, their communities, and their determination to make Shell pay is a model that will galvanise other impacted communities in the Niger Delta and elsewhere to act and stay on course.

“Shell’s acceptance to pay compensation and install a leak detection system is both unprecedented and signals a victory for all parties – the victims, environmental justice campaigners, and Shell.

“Furthermore, if Shell can do this, it means that there is no hiding place for any corporate polluter as they may run, but cannot hide from the long arms of the law.”

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Eric Dooh, said the compensation would enhance a total transformation of the people and reinvestment in the community.

“The compensation we receive from the court case in the Netherlands will enhance a total transformation of the community people and myself in terms of reinvestment in our environment.

“It will be a relief for all of us when the money is finally paid as compensation for our losses after a long time of legal action against Shell,” Dooh said.

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