Shell pays Nigerian farmers €15 million for ruined farmland

Shell and environmental organisation Milieudefensie have settled a long running dispute over compensation for Nigerian farmers whose land was ruined by oil leaks from the company’s pipe lines 20 years ago.

The company will be paying €15 million to a number of Nigerian communities whose land was ruined by pollution from Shell pipes between 2004 and 2007.

Last year, a court in The Hague ruled that Shell was liable for the damage done to the farmland in a case brought by four farmers back in 2009 and supported by Milieudefensie. It then took a further two years of negotiations to arrive at the final amount.

Shell has also cleared up the pollution and installed a system to detect leaks, a requirement which was also part of the ruling.

‘Thanks to the compensation money we can go back and get our villages on their feet again,’ farmer Barizah Dooh said in a comment to broadcaster NOS. ‘We are all relieved that after years of legal wrangling we are being compensated for what we lost. We thank God and Milieudefensie for the support we have received.’

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