Landmark Victory In the Niger Delta for Rural Women

The Feminist Task Force stands in solidarity with the Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD), its president, Caroline Usikpedo and the rural women and families of the Niger Delta, Nigeria for pursuing justice in an ongoing “David vs. Goliath” situation pitting the rural people of the Niger Delta against the global oil corporation, Shell.

We congratulate our colleague and FTF leader, Caroline, and other activists of the Niger Delta for their perseverance, tenacity and courage for speaking up for their land, their communities and their people. The ruling on Wednesday, January 30th, marks the second landmark victory against Shell, holding it responsible for the pollution of farmlands in rural Niger Delta.   They have been vindicated, albeit partially, by a Dutch court ruling against a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell holding it responsible for the pollution of farmlands in the Niger Delta.

“While we congratulate the farmers for the giant step they took for taking Shell to court and encourage the Goi and Oruma to take on appeal, we the women in the Niger Delta urge the Dutch Court to review the case and use the UNEP report as a proof for non clean ups in Ogoniland and to allow justice to have its cause to set a precedent for others to follow,” — Caroline Usikpedo-Omoniye, President NDWPD and FTF Africa representative.

Statement of the Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development:

Landmark victory against Shell Not Enough.  Niger Delta Women urge Dutch Court to Review Judgment to Set Precedent

A Dutch Court ruled against big oil company, Shell, holding the conglomerate responsible for the pollution of farmlands at Ikot Ada Udo, Akwa Ibom State, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The judgment handed down on Wednesday, 30 January 2013, marks the second landmark victory in the struggle against the oil company that has been causing havoc in Nigeria for over 50 years.

“We are however disappointed,” said Caroline Usikpedo, President of the Nigerian organization, the Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, “that the court ruled otherwise with regard to the Goi and Oruma and that the court concluded that there was no proof that the spills at Goi in Ogoni, Rivers State and Oruma communities in Bayelsa State were not cleaned up.”

The Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD) is a rural based women’s organization in the Delta State, with its National Secretariat in Ughelli, at the Niger Delta region, miles away from Ogoniland where oil spills have occurred for over a decade without proper clean up or compensation to its citizen.  NDWPD has conducted Gender and Climate Justice hearings with women’s groups and communities in nearby Odi and Jesse districts in 2009 and again in 2011 as part of the Feminist Task Force GCAP series, “Strengthening Voices: Search for Solutions: Women’s Tribunals on Gender and Climate Justice,” in partnership with Greenpeace International and Inter Press Service.

Niger Delta women express concern on today’s Judgment by the Dutch court holding Shell accountable for the spills in the Niger Delta, excluding Ogoniland and Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

There could have been no better proof than the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report in Abuja, August 4, 2011. Bearing in mind that UNEP brought out a report that stated that the environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health.

Ogoniland, Niger Delta

This report from major new independent scientific assessment and carried out by UNEP, shows that pollution from over 50 years of oil operations in the region has penetrated further and deeper than many may had forecasted.  The assessment was unprecedented. Over a 14-month period, the UNEP team examined more than 200 locations, surveyed 122 kilometres of pipeline rights of way, reviewed more than 5,000 medical records and engaged over 23,000 people at local community meetings.

“While we congratulate the farmers for the giant step they took for taking Shell to court and encourage the Goi and Oruma to take on appeal, we the women in the Niger Delta urge the Dutch Court to review the case and use the UNEP report as a proof for non clean ups in Ogoniland and to allow justice to have its cause to set a precedent for others to follow,” said Caroline Usikpedo-Omoniye, President NDWPD.

NigerWomen

Download Statement: Landmark victory against Shell Not Enough.

Landmark victory against Shell Not Enough.

Watch the video on the 2009 Niger Delta Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice

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