Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amnesty report calls the Niger Delta a "resource curse"

Amnesty International has released a report that talks about the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Niger Delta is rich with oil, and only a few people get rich from the oil.

However, wastes from the oil production has caused contamination of the area's water and soil. Many in Delta region have not seen any benefits in their lives from the sale of the oil.

The poverty and resentment have spawned violent groups who sabotage the oil production, only leading to more pollution. The militia groups cause oil spills, waste dumping, and set fires to wells.

From Canada com, this AFP tells us more about the Amnesty report on Nigeria.

In a report released Tuesday, Amnesty described the situation in the Niger Delta, home to 31 million people, as a "human rights tragedy" which has fuelled anger and conflict.

"People living in the Niger Delta have to drink, cook with, and wash in polluted water; they eat fish contaminated with oil and other toxins -- if they are lucky enough to still be able to find fish," said the report.

Farmland in the region, one of the most important wetlands on earth, is being destroyed by oil spills.

"After oil spills the air they breathe reeks of oil, gas and other pollutants; they complain of breathing problems, skin lesions and other health problems, but their concerns are not taken seriously," the report added.

Amnesty blames both the government and multi-national oil giants for the rights abuses in the south of Africa's most populous country.

"Their poverty, and its contrast with the wealth generated by oil, has become one of the world's starkest and most disturbing examples of the resource curse," the report said.

No comments: