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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shell, Environmental Pollution, Culture and Health in Nigeria: The Sad Plight of Ughelli Oil Communities
Author:Omoweh, Daniel A.
Periodical:Afrika Spectrum
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:traditional society
petroleum extraction
oil companies
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
international relations
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Abstract:This paper examines the consequences of environmental (oil) pollution caused by Shell for the culture and the health of the people of the Ughelli oil areas in the Niger Delta (Nigeria). First, the article shows how the foundation for the environmental exploitation of the area was laid during the colonial period (1900-1960). Next, it examines the process of the degradation of the environment as a result of NNPC's (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and Shell's indiscriminate dumping of untreated dangerous drilling wastes on land and into swamps, the flaring of gas, seismic operations and frequent soil spillage. It shows how these activities have prevented inhabitants from practising traditional medicine because of the destruction of herbs with therapeutic value, and how the company's incessant violation of the people's cultural beliefs - destruction of places of worship, killing of totemic animals - has inflicted serious damage on their traditional culture. The paper further addresses the reactions of the people in the area to the operations of Shell and the Nigerian State - which not only collaborates with Shell, but also uses repressive policies to perpetuate the underdevelopment of the area - and the way in which Shell and the State have responded to protests. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.