"Il Delta dei Veleni", oil exploitation in Nigeria

"Il Delta dei Veleni", oil exploitation in Nigeria.
A photo exhibition and a documentary by Luca Tommasini

Only few days left to visit the photo exhibition by Luca Tommasini "Il Delta dei Veleni" at WSP Photography in San Paolo area, in Rome.
I visited the exhibition the day of the opening, Wednesday 9th of May. 
The exhibition was completed by the projection of the documentary "Oil for nothing" by Tommasini (produced by CRBM) and a talk with Godwin Uyi Ojo, Director and co-founder of Environmental Rights Action, Elena Gerebizza e Luca Manes di CRBM.

© Luca Tommasini – Il delta dei veleni

As the title might suggest the exhibition and documentary are centred on the responsibilities of national and international oil companies in the petrol exploitation on the Niger Delta in Nigeria. 
The opening day was a special occasion to hear stories from Godwin Uyi Ojo who saw his land changing. The pollution of air and water is now a sad reality the local communities have to deal with. 
Oil companies such as Shell and the Italian Eni are in the area to extract petrol with absolutely no respect for the people and the land. The local communities still live in poverty and are effected by the dramatic consequences of acid rains and pollution.

Il delta dei veleni

I am thankful to WSP Photography that gives a chance to know more about this reality. I felt immediately touched, asking myself in which way I could give my contribution. 
Godwin Uyi Ojo underlined the importance of share this story and let other people know about what is happening in the Delta River. We should be all aware of where our oil comes from and how Eni is responsible. Please take some time to watch the documentary and share it with your friends.

Oil for Nothing by Luca Tommasini.

Commisioned by: Campaing for the Reform of the World Bank - CRBM
Date: September 2011

The impacts of oil and gas exploitation in Nigeria are well known and documented. Both the European Parliament and the UN Environment Programme recently published reports on Nigeria that acknowledge the major pollution caused by oil extraction and the threat posed to human health.

Commercial production of oil in the country started in 1958 in the Niger delta, and Nigeria is now the largest oil exporter in Sub-Saharan Africa, currently shipping some 2 million barrels of oil per day according to official figures, and 4 million barrels per day according to unofficial estimates. In 2007,

about 20 per cent of Nigeria's oil was exported to countries within the Eurozone. Meanwhile, almost all of the oil consumed within Nigeria itself is imported because the country has few working refineries. Oil has generated an estimated USD 600 billion in income for the Nigeria state since the 1960s.Yet the vast majority of the 31 million people living in the Delta remain in poverty. Not only have they not benefited from the revenues derived from exploiting oil, but in addition their livelihoods, based on fishing and farming, have been completely destroyed or undermined by the oil industry. The Delta villages are crossed by over 10,000 kilometres of pipelines, many of which are 40-years-old and corroded, regularly causing massive oil spills. It is estimated that between 93 and 712 barrels are spilled in the Delta area every day. Gas flares – burning of gas that comes mixed with the oil – burn day and night, releasing dangerous toxins, despite it being illegal under Nigerian law to flare gas.Although the oil companies and the Nigerian government have promised to end flaring, the practice continues, polluting the local air and reportedly causing major adverse health impacts. Flaring is also a major contributor to global warming, releasing tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere every year. According to the World Bank, the volume of gas burned of every year worldwide is equivalent to the combined annual gas consumption of Germany and France or to twice the annual gas consumption of Africa. This assault on local livelihoods had led to serious resentment, social conflict and violence in the region, including the state-sanctioned murder on 10th November 1995 of Ken Saro Wiwa, one of the leaders of the peaceful Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), who was executed (with eight others) on unfounded
charges because he was speaking out against the devastation caused by oil multinational Shell in the Delta. Despite such repression, communities have continued to protest the damage down to their lands and livelihoods and have succeeded in bringing major projects to a halt. In the case of Ogoniland, oil extraction has ceased indefinitely as a result of such protests.

Via Costanzo Cloro 58 (M San Paolo)

I just would like to add here a contribution on this matter by Nigerian singer, Nneka. 

She also talks about the situation of Oil exploitation in the Niger Delta.


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