A year on, Nigeria's oil still poisons Ogoniland

This is obviously not the only example around the globe, just the latest - yet people still say oil is cheap (on what basis) !

A bright yellow sign above the well in this sleepy Nigerian village says 'caution: not fit for use', and the sulphurous stink off the water that children still pump into buckets sharply reinforces that warning.

"Can you smell it? Don't get any in your mouth or you'll be sick," said Victoria Jiji, 55, as she walked past the bore hole in her home village of Ekpangbala, one of several in Ogoniland, southeast Nigeria, whose drinking water has turned toxic.

Prosperity has flowed from Ogoniland, one of Africa's earliest crude oil producing areas, for decades. But it has flowed to the big oil companies and to Nigerian state coffers. Locals have long complained that precious little goes their way.

A landmark U.N. report on August 4 last year slammed multinational oil companies, particularly leading operator Royal Dutch Shell, and the government, for 50 years of oil pollution that has devastated this region of the Niger Delta, a fragile wetlands environment.

It said the area needed the world's biggest ever oil clean-up, taking at least 25 years and costing an initial $1 billion. Shell and the government swiftly pledged to act on it.

One year on, residents say they've seen no evidence that it has begun.