Fence line activist take South Durban communities’ concerns to British Parliamentarians - Stop Shell’s Double Standards

24 June 2004 - Desmond D’Sa, clean air activist and fence line neighbour of the Shell owned Sapref Refinery in South Durban will address the British parliament on the devastating impact of the British multinational Oil Corporation – Shell in South Africa.

More than 60 MP’s are expected to attend a briefing in parliament today (24 June 2004) to hear evidence from community representatives from around the world on the UK oil company, SHELL is damaging their health and local environment.

The following speakers will join Desmond D’Sa:

Hilton Kelley from Port Arthur in Texas, who has mobilised 1,200 residents in his community to file a class action law suit against Shell because of their failure to stop emissions that they allege are causing respiratory illnesses, eye complaints and cancer.

Oronto Douglas from Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria. Shell sources 10 per cent of its oil from the Niger Delta and the company’s failure to invest in technology results in gas being flared – often at ground level and in immediate proximity of communities and agricultural land. Oil spills are also common with 9,900 barrels of oil spilt in 2003.

Desmond D’Sa will be calling on the British Parliamentarians to:

Desmond D’Sa will share the large number of accidents and spills experienced by the Shell refinery in South Africa, including the biggest petrol leak in SA history, under the home of communities. He will also discuss the detrimental effect on the community’s health. Health surveys have revealed that South Durban residents are 24 times more likely to develop leukaemia and learners and teachers are 50 times more likely to suffer from asthma.

groundWork’s Air Quality Campaigner, Ardiel Soeker, is also in London to support the case of Desmond D’Sa and the South Durban community.

For more information please contact:

Ferrial Adam (ferrial@groundwork.org.za)
or Farida Khan (sdce@sn.apc.org)

Organisations: groundwork (Friends of the Earth South Africa) – 033-342 5662
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance – 031-461 1991