The Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre of Delta State, along with allied community-based women’s organizations, has urged Shell to undertake a thorough cleanup of the region.

delta state
Delta state

This call comes in response to Shell’s announcement of plans to sell its onshore assets to investors.

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Emem Okon, representing the Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, and five other partners, issued a press statement expressing concerns about Shell’s attempt to evade responsibility and the rapid nature of the divestment plans.

The group emphasized that the company did not conduct necessary consultations with communities that have long endured environmental destruction from the company’s operations.

According to the statement, Shell is in the process of selling shares in Petroleum Development Company to a consortium of investors, Renaissance Africa Energy. Previous divestments, such as OML 34 to ND Western and OML 17 and OML 29 without proper guidelines, were highlighted.

The group raised alarms about other oil companies, including Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Exxon Mobil Nigeria Limited, and Total Energy Nigeria Limited, preparing to divest without engaging host communities and addressing environmental damages.

The statement underlined the failure of these corporations to establish women’s development funds to support those affected by the consequences of oil extraction activities.

Delta Women, who bear the brunt of oil exploitation, are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, leading to economic hardships, health issues, and declines in crop yields.

The group implored the government not to approve divestment plans until polluted farmlands are cleaned up and restored by the companies involved.

They called for a commitment from these companies to clean polluted sites and restore lost livelihood opportunities. The statement rejected what they deemed “irresponsible divestment” and urged the government to obtain a court injunction to halt the sale of assets related to the matter, emphasizing the rejection of such practices.