8.11.2010

Shell or Living Hell?


Niger Delta, Nigeria - Home to a Continuous Oil Spill
When someone says "oil", the Middle East inevitably comes to mind. But what about Nigeria? Nigeria is one of Africa's biggest oil producers and America's 5th largest energy supplier. As the demand for oil rises, Nigeria plays a more vital role. Foreigners have been kidnapped in Nigeria's Niger Delta region and armed militant groups seize oil pipelines in order to demand larger shares of the oil profits. Despite the abundance of oil in the Niger Delta, it still remains one of the poorest regions in the world. It should come as no surprise that the oil profits are often lost to the government and corruption. If you think the oil spill in the Gulf is bad, imagine living in those conditions all the time for decades! That is what life is like for the people living in the Niger Delta. For an excellent look into the situation in the Niger Delta, I'd recommend watching this episode of Vanguard, a great documentary T.V series.

One of my favorite organizations, Amnesty International, who I admire for fighting for human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or anything else, has also been raising awareness about Shell's actions in the Niger Delta. For a slightly entertaining video on Shell's activities in the Niger Delta, watch the quick and informative video posted above.

Back in May, Shell's shareholders met in London for their Annual General Meeting and Amnesty International did not pass up the opportunity to spread the world on Shell's true actions in the Niger Delta. According to Amnesty International, over 9 million barrels of oil have been spilled in the Niger Delta over the last 50 years, 75% of the local population have no access to clean water, and Shell continues to use gas flaring (despite it being declared illegal in the '80s) which poses serious health risks to the population (read their full report on Shell's activities in the Niger Delta). 

What better way to catch the Shell shareholders' attention then to run ads in newspapers and driving a truck around that tells about the real situation in the Niger Delta? Below is the ad that ran in two newspapers in London the day of the Shell Annual Meeting. Great job Amnesty for drawing attention to a mostly unknown issue!
 Photo and Video via Amnesty International Blog

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