Oil for blood

The Niger Delta, a network of rivers and tributaries in Southern Nigeria is one of the richest and most diverse habitats on the planet. The people there rely on the rivers for food, transport and it is a central part of their economy and culture.

For the past 50 years the major oil companies have been spilling 40 million litres of oil a year into the rivers. The fish are dying, the habitat is dying and the people are dying. Often of terrible and previously unknown diseases.

The locals have resorted to the kidnapping and murder of oil workers and foreigners.

Just before lockdown we travelled with the amazing team from Aqueitas to document this tragedy in the hope of forcing the courts to do something about it. At the end of last year the courts in Holland and UK ruled that the people of the region can sue for compensation, succumbing to the pressure of our campaign and others.

In many ways there are no winners in this. The Delta will never recover fully, the people have lost so much of their environment and culture. The oil companies will hopefully be forced to pay for their crimes and will finally have to accept the blood that is on their hands.

But there is hope. In the people we met, in the communities we filmed, there is a spirit to overcome, to build a new future and to give better opportunities to the locals.

Climate change sometimes feel like such a big issue that it is impossible to feel you can help make a change. But you can, and the campaigners and people who are fighting for justice are living proof of that.

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