June 30th, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Nigerians angry at oil pollution double standards

Christian Purefoy
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/30/t1larg_oil_afp_gi.jpg caption="Nigeria has suffered devastating oil pollution in Delta region over 50 years" width=300 height=169]

Nigeria's Niger Delta is one of the most oil-polluted places on the planet with more than 6,800 recorded oil spills, accounting for anywhere from 9 million to 13 million barrels of oil spilled, according to activist groups.

But occurring over the 50 years since oil production began in the Delta, this environmental disaster has never received the attention that is now being paid to the oil-spill catastrophe hitting the U.S. Gulf coast.

"The whole world is trembling and even the president of America had to do a personal visit to the site. The U.S. will have put serious measures in place to stop such situations happening in the future," said Ken Tebe - a local environmental activist who is visibly shaken by what he regards as a double standard.

"It's funny because we've been dealing with this problem for 50 years. I even heard BP will pay $20 billion in damages (for the U.S. spill). When will such hope come to the Niger Delta?" Tebe asked.

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Filed under: Nigeria • Oil
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Niger needs to do like the US and have its country's leader send a bill for clean-up and such to BP and whatever other oil companies drilled and had spills there and demand payment. The oil companies are not going to volunteer reparations; and while the US is a customer of Niger the US is not the appropriate party to demand payment for that country's spills. Niger will have to do that itself and if they don't then they really can't complain.

    June 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  2. lori

    This is insane . I had know idea .They should be compensated. It surprised me that their are no lawyers on this already .

    Lets face it AC it doesnt look good for any of us ...

    June 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The U.S. and other countries have known how these oil companies have polluted and never cleaned up their oil spill mess in Nigeria for years and said nothing. Because the soil is so polluted by the oil these people suffer from all kinds of illness and cannot get the medical care needed. The rich profited and these poor people are suffering, they never received one cent.

    June 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm |