Date filed
10 September 2020
Keywords
Countries of harm
Current status
Under review
Sector
NCP

Allegations

On 10 September 2020, Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID), Association des Jeunes Tchadiens de la Zone Pétrolière (AJTZP), and Public Interest Law Center (PILC) filed a complaint to the UK NCP asserting that Glencore UK, either directly or through its local subsidiary PetroChad (Mangara) Limited (“PCM”), breached the OECD Guidelines for Multinational (Guidelines) by failing to conduct appropriate environmental and human rights due diligence, including meaningful stakeholder consultation, at its Badila oil concession in Chad. The complaint also alleges that Glencore UK failed to disclose material information on human rights and environmental risks and issues affecting stakeholder communities, did not provide remediation for the harm caused, and has not contributed to the communities’ sustainable development.

Twice, wastewater spills at the Badila site resulted in severe contamination of the local Nya Pende River, a crucial source of water for livestock and crops and a location for bathing, fishing, and washing. In the days and weeks that followed the first wastewater spill and the crude oil leak, dozens of local residents suffered physical injuries including burns, skin lesions, and pustules on the skin. Others complained of blurred vision, stomach aches, internal pains, vomiting and diarrhoea after using, and sometimes drinking, the water from the river. Some required hospitalization, including at least two children who suffered serious skin lesions, burns and pustules after bathing in the water. Livestock was also affected and individuals reported deaths of goats, cattle, pigs and sheep. On the day of the wastewater, fish were floating, dead, on the surface of the water. Women and children appeared to be particularly affected, reporting skin problems including burns, pustules, discolouration and itching. Others reported blurred vision, stomach aches, internal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever after using or drinking water from the river.

Complainants seek the NCPs mediation to secure independent investigations of the site and an independent environmental assessment, implementation of a transparent and accessible mechanism for stakeholder engagement, remediation of impacts, and public disclosure and communication to impacted communities of pollution test results moving forward.

Relevant OECD Guidelines

Outcome

On 15 January 2021, the UK NCP issued an initial assessment accepting the complaint. In its statement, the UK NCP asserts that issues relating to the 2018 wastewater spill and subsequent alleged oil leak merit further examination. The UK NCP decided not to accept any issues relating to the 2020 wastewater spill for further examination on (incorrect) grounds that because investigations in relation to this event are ongoing, “therefore it would be premature to consider the issue material and substantiated.”

 

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