MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A coalition of Nigerian and international environmental and human rights organizations urged Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday to tackle oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
According to Nigerian authorities, oil companies, including Shell, routinely blame local crude-smuggling gangs for spills for which they are responsible.
An open letter published by Amnesty International urged Buhari to take concrete steps to implement the recommendations of the 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, which exposed overwhelming oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
On July 28, Nigerian authorities convened a meeting between the government, UNEP, the oil industry and representatives of affected communities in order to begin implementing UNEP recommendations.
According to the report, continued contamination of the water and soil in Nigeria’s Ogoniland poses a serious threat to human health.
The UN revealed a community drinking well polluted with benzene, a cancer-causing substance, at levels 900 times above the World Health Organization guideline.