A major Shell oil pipeline spill has poured oil across the Niger Delta, polluting waterways and farmland, the AP reports. Though the actual volume of oil dumped from the Shell-operated Trans-Niger Pipeline has not been determined, but advocates have shared images of blighted farmland and waterways full of dead fish among the sticky sheen of crude oil. A Swiss study in 2017 found infants in the Niger Delta are twice as likely to die in their first month of life if their mothers live near an oil spill.
The spill, which began June 11, is “one of the worst in the last 16 years in Ogoniland,” Fyneface Dumnamene, with the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, told the AP. “It lasted for over a week, bursts into Okulu River — which adjoins other rivers and ultimately empties into the Atlantic Ocean — and affects several communities and displaces more than 300 fishers.” Local residents and environmental advocates have opposed Shell’s oil major’s Niger Delta operations for decades over the pollution and destruction they have caused there. (AP)