Come on, Shell: own up, pay up, clean up.
“I could no longer live there because our income was destroyed”
– Pastor Christian
Imagine an oil spill and what comes to mind? Photos of seabirds washed up on tarred shores? Newsreels of people in biohazard suits on emergency clean-up, picking dead fish out of the once-clean water? It’s a bit harder to really visualise the impact on everyday living for the affected area's residents, five years down the line.
With their environment poisoned to the core, the 31 million people living in the Niger Delta still see the consequences of the two major 2008 oil spills in every aspect of their lives. The water they wash in, cook with and drink is polluted. The land they farm is poisoned. Natural resources that once provided a livelihood are rotten.
Pastor Christian Lekoya Kpandei is a fish farmer in the Bodo region of the Delta. Or rather, he was. Pastor Christian showed us his old farm. “There are no fish left. The entire ecosystem is dead.” Overnight, his income disappeared. He and his family are boarding with a friend. Food costs money that he no longer earns. He can't afford to send his daughter to the school she used to study at. Without education, her own options are limited.
In the film below, Christian describes the difficulty of no longer being able to provide for others – for his family, and for his church, where Christian is pastor. Put simply, if we erased the oil spill from his homeland, Christian would be able to work, feed his family, educate his children, support his congregation.
There is a way to bring life back to the Niger Delta, and that’s for Shell to act responsibly, and take action to repair some of the damage its done. The company has long evaded its responsibility to the inhabitants of the Niger Delta, the people who are ultimately bearing the brunt of the 2008 spills.
As a UK-based company, Shell cares what you think. We need to let Shell know that we won't tolerate its shameful disregard for the ruined livelihoods in the Niger Delta. There are a few things you can do on social networks to spread this message right now.
1. Tell Shell it must clean up its act - and the Niger Delta.
Send a tweet to Shell - we've prepared some below, or you could write your own. Just use the hashtag #ShellCleanUp
9m barrels of oil spilled in 50yrs in Niger Delta. @Shell: own up, pay up, clean up: #shellcleanup
"The oil came pouring in, It didn't stop after... even 2 months". @Shell - own up, pay up , clean up: http://yfrog.com/eu45p4j
50 years of oil spills - Make Shell clean up its act in the Niger Delta. Find out how:
2. Get your friends to tweet too.
Send your friends here and ask them to lend their voice to our campaign
3. Get visual
If you want to get visual, you can change your profile pictures on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else. Just download your favourite from the options below: