Amnesty says Shell must clean oil spill wrecking lives

LAGOS, Nigeria — Amnesty International says the shell oil company must clean up a 3-year-old spill that has wrecked the livelihoods of tens of thousands of farmers and fishermen in southeastern Nigeria.

A report today quoted a British lawyer for the Niger Delta community around the town of Bodo in the Ogoniland area as suggesting the 2008 spill leaked 4,000 barrels a day for 10 weeks. That would make it bigger than Alaska’s Exxon Valdez disaster.

Shell has acknowledged the spill but says it involved a total of 4,000 barrels.

Amnesty says Shell’s “prolonged failure” to clean up continues to have “catastrophic consequences.”

It calls for Shell to start a $1 billion, 30-year cleanup of the delta recommended by the U.N.

Shell was forced out of Ogoniland by residents who accused it of a hand in the 1995 hanging of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.