For decades, the community of Aggah in Rivers State, Nigeria, has suffered from floods caused by elevated embankments that were built by the local subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., the Italian oil giant. Each year during the rainy season, local streams that used to flow through the area encounter Eni's constructions, back up, and inundate the village. The floodwaters destroy homes, wash away crops and livestock, and devastate the health of many Aggah residents.
Villagers have been asking Eni for relief for years, but the company has turned a deaf ear to their pleas. Eni is even ignoring the Rivers State government, which has tried to enforce its sanitation and public safety laws to end the floodings. Aggah residents' requests are simple: build a drainage system that will allow the floodwaters to pass through, and assist those people who have suffered as a result of the floods.
Together with PILIWA network partner Chima Williams, ACA is supporting the villagers to raise their voices and take control of their own fate. We helped them to design and conduct a community impact survey that demonstrates the extent of the devastation, and are representing them in a complaint to the Italian and Dutch governments. This complaint argues that Eni and its Dutch subsidiary, Eni International BV, are violating international norms of responsible corporate conduct and contributing to human rights violations by allowing the floods to continue. We hope these governments will help bring Eni to the negotiating table to find a solution that protects the rights of the people of Aggah.