Half a world from the Gulf, giant oil spills have occurred every year for the past 50 years in the Niger Delta

by Adam Nossiter

Hannah Baage walked through polluted Gio Creek in Kegbara Dere. She said recently, “There is Shell oil on my body.” Photo:Jane Hahn/New York Times More Photos

BODO, Nigeria — Big oil spills are no longer news in this vast, tropical land. The Niger Delta, where the wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. The oil pours out nearly every week, and some swamps are long since lifeless.