After a three-year legal battle, Royal Dutch Shell has finally agreed to an $84 million settlement with residents of Bodo community in Niger Delta. They are being compensated for two oil spills that occurred in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
The 15,600 fishermen in the case will be given $3,300 each as compensation for losses they experienced as a result of the oil spills. The remaining $30 million will be given to the community as a whole to aid in eradicating the environmental pollution caused by the incident.
The oil spills had devastating effects on the community. Sources say the price of fish, a staple food in the region, rose tenfold, and most of the fishermen had to find alternative ways of making a living. In addition, local sources of drinking water were contaminated, and people began to develop eyesight problems.
A statement released about the settlement by Leigh Day, the law firm representing the fishermen, reveals that “It is the first time that compensation has been paid following an oil spill in Nigeria to the thousands of individuals who have suffered loss.” The deal is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
In addition to the cash settlement, Shell has pledged to clean up Bodo Creek over the next couple of months.