NEW YORK (February 4, 2013)– WEDO is pleased to share news from the Feminist Task Force on the courageous work  of our colleagues and friends in the Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD). Last Wednesday, January 30th, NDWPD marked the second landmark victory against global oil giant Shell, holding it responsible for the pollution of farmlands in rural Niger Delta.

This is a significant step towards holding polluters accountable, and a testament to the tenacity of the activism of the NDWPD. It is however, just a step as the NDWPD plans to persevere for  justice. “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.

Photo credit: Feminist Task Force

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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.

For more information, contact Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development.

Download Statement: Landmark victory against Shell Not Enough.

Read the Gender and Climate Justice report on Niger Delta by NDWPD on theFeminist Task Force gender and climate justice blog:ww.climatejusticetribunals.blogspot.com

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

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