Shell to fund Niger Delta cleanup; costs could hit €500 million

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Shell will clean up the oil spill in a heavily polluted area in the Niger Delta. This area is located in Bodo, Nigeria, which has about 40 thousand inhabitants. The company will also carry the costs of the cleanup. 

According to the Volkskrant, the cost of the cleanup is estimated at between 134 to 446 million euros.

This agreement was made between Shell, the local population and local environmental organizations with the help of former Dutch ambassador to Nigeria, Bert Ronhaar. The agreement was signed in Prot Harcout in the Niger Delta on Friday.

In 2008 and 2009 Bodo was struck by oil spills caused by operational errors by Shell and illegal oil tapping. In January shell already committed to pay 70 million euros in compensation to the Bodo community.

The agreement includes a plan for cleaning up the oil pollution and restoring the environment and the fish stocks. It also includes a plan to prevent further oil thefts as well as a fund for the development of the area. A project manager has been appointed to lead the implementation of the plans. Two companies have been appointed to clean up the oil spill.

"It is very positive that the Netherlands is able to play this role in Bodo. Hopefully this model will also lead to dialogue that contributes to a solution acceptable to all parties in other parts in the Niger Delta where contamination has occurred." said Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.