Uncertainty pervades some Ogoni communities over ownership and access to farmlands that had been the subject of land grabbing by the Government of Rivers State.
In 2011, the government confiscated community farmlands for a private banana plantation, developed by a Mexican company. After six years of killings, human rights abuses by state security services, community resistance and legal battles, the Mexican company has abandoned the land. With a change of government in the state following elections in 2015, the company was not sure of continuous patronage. By 2016, community members had retaken the land and planted cassava and other local staples.
Women and men from over 20 Communities in Delta State Nigeria, have charged the Nigerian government to urgently take steps to put an end to the continued degradation of their environment, rights violation and destruction of their health and livelihood sources through continued gas flaring by oil and gas companies in the area or be prepared to face strong resistance to this evil act by community men and women.
On Thursday June 2, 2016, the Nigerian federal government organized a ceremonial launching of the clean-up and restoration of polluted sites in Ogoniland. The government used the ceremony to announce its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland report.
This briefing paper by Social Action examines developments prior to and following the flag-off ceremony. It analyses crucial processes and highlights institutional lapses that threatens to mar the entire clean-up process.
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BANISHED FOR OIL: The Untold Stories of Environmental Exiles of Ogoniland exposes ongoing displacement and forced migration resulting from oil pollution in Ogoniland. The report presents the untold stories of the members of Bue-Leh and Busuu communities in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria who have all deserted their homes for almost a decade following oil spills, explosions and fires from installations of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
With the clean-up of Ogoniland as recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) yet to commence, Social Action is publishing this story to raise awareness about the worsening state of Ogoni environment and the need for immediate actions from the government and all responsible parties to address the clean-up of the environment and the resettlement and compensation of displaced community members. Read Full Report
Based on field investigations in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, this report by Social Action presents the cases of illegal artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta as a more recent manifestation of the historical problem of oil theft in Nigeria, which includes the looting of public revenues from the petroleum industry. The report shows that oil theft and the artisanal refining that it enables, are twin threats to legitimate civic engagement, environmental sustainability, and the physical health and livelihoods of its operators and the people living in the Niger Delta communities. With billions of dollars in lost public revenues, crude oil theft adversely affects the socio-economic well-being of the majority of Nigerians who still live in poverty and destitution. The report highlights the need to improve the governance of natural resources and makes concrete recommendations for the government, civil society groups and affected communities. Read full report
This Social Action Briefing addresses issues of poor energy access for communities amidst routine gas flaring by oil companies that operate in joint venture with the Nigerian government. With Nigeria flaring more gas than any other country in the world, there is avoidable wastage of energy resources in addition to contributing to local pollution and climate change.
This briefing provides an understanding of Nigeria’s energy policy with an emphasis on identifying options for utilising associated gas and renewable energy resources. It show how readily available energy resources can be utilised towards addressing the needs of Nigerian citizens. Read Full Report