In this small region of Nigeria known as the "south-south," something huge is happening. The adverse effects of oil exploration have been unfolding in the Niger Delta for the past 50 years. Now, the people have had enough. From environmental activism to peaceful protest to stakeholder dialogues, nothing has worked. A new brand of militancy has emerged in a different kind of attempt to call attention to the desperate poverty and injustice.
Here, citizens of an oil-rich nation struggle to eat in a land that can no longer support them. The Delta’s water and soil have been fouled by the same oil production that accounts for more than 80 percent of the country’s revenue. Traditional fishing and farming livelihoods are all but gone. Potable drinking water is rare. So is electricity. With pitifully few clinics and schools, curable conditions go untreated and illiteracy is high. Families are broken up, as men die young or take off for the cities to find jobs.
The advent of militancy has brought both hope and fear to the region. People live with the constant threat of war, yet many feel that armed resistance is the only avenue left to make their voices heard.
Here are some resources to keep up with Niger Delta news,
political action and environmental issues:
Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth Nigeria) Go
Justice in Nigeria Now (JINN) Go
Niger Delta Rising Go
Niger Delta Working Group Go
Oil Change International Go
Stakeholder Democracy Network Go
Nigeria History Timeline
Kaiama Declaration – written at the end of the All Ijaw Youths Conference, December 1998