The True Tragedy: Delays and failures in tackling oil spills in the Niger Delta
In August and December 2008, two major oil spills disrupted the lives of the 69,000 or so people living in Bodo, a town in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta. Both spills continued for weeks before they were stopped. Estimates suggest that the volume of oil spilled was as large as the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989.
Three years on, the prolonged failure of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to clean up the oil that was spilled, continues to have catastrophic consequences for the Bodo community. As the photographs in this report illustrate, oil pollution remains highly visible. It is everywhere – in the water, along the mangroves, and in the soil.