Amnesty International and the Centre forÂ Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has welcomed an offer byÂ oil giant Shell toÂ pay the Nigerian Bodo community 55 million pounds ($83 million) inÂ compensation forÂ its oil spills inÂ the Niger Delta inÂ 2008, according toÂ a statement issued byÂ Amnesty onÂ Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Shell agreed toÂ make an out-of-court settlement ofÂ 35 million pounds toÂ 15,600 fishermen and 20 million pounds toÂ the Bodo community forÂ the environmental damage caused byÂ the oil spills, according toÂ the statement.
“While the pay-out is a long awaited victory forÂ the thousands ofÂ people who lost their livelihoods inÂ Bodo, it shouldn’t have taken six years toÂ get anything close toÂ fair compensation,” Amnesty global issues director Audrey Gaughran said inÂ a statement.
Amnesty International and CEHRD have been supporting Nigeria onÂ the spills case sinceÂ 2008, butÂ court proceedings againstÂ the Shell Petroleum Development Company ofÂ Nigeria only began inÂ 2011.
“The compensation is a step towardsÂ justice forÂ the people ofÂ Bodo, butÂ justice will be fully achieved when Shell properly cleans upÂ the heavily polluted creeks and swamps so that those who rely onÂ fishing and farming forÂ their income can begin toÂ rebuild their livelihoods,” Styvn Obodoekwe ofÂ CEHRD said.
Shell has accepted responsibility forÂ the oil spills occurred inÂ the Niger Delta inÂ August and December 2008 butÂ seriously underestimated the volume ofÂ oil split. During three-year long legal battle, the company revealed that some ofÂ its pipelines were old, contained “major risk and hazard” and needed toÂ be replaced. According toÂ Amnesty, the company did not act onÂ this knowledge toÂ prevent the oil leaks.
Environmental restoration ofÂ the area where the oil spills occurred is possible butÂ may take 25 toÂ 30 years, according toÂ the United Nations Environment Program.
Source: Sputnik International