Development & Peace

Denouncing Oil Pollution in Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and biggest oil producer. Despite oil exports worth billions of dollars, millions of Nigerians remain in poverty and face food insecurity. In the south, pollution and contamination by the oil industry are causing great hardship.

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s partner Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) works on issues of climate justice, food sovereignty and oil pollution. HOMEF defends farmers’ rights and helps protect their lands from pollution and contamination by the oil industry in southern Nigeria.

“This cassava (pictured to the right) has been planted for over a year, but there has been no yield and now the roots have decayed in the soil. When the river oerflows due to poor drainage, it affects the farm. When the water leaves, the oil remains on the farmland. Our aquatic life is gone. I wonder what will happen for the generations to come.” Abasinobong John, farmer, Ibeno

“After more than six decades of reckless, mindless, irresponsible, oil and gas extraction, communities are struggling for survival. It’s about regaining land for farming; it’s about getting clean water for fishing and for potable use; it’s about regaining their dignity. It’s a struggle for the right to life.” -Nnimmo Basey, Executive Director, HOMEF.

To learn more about the work of HOMEF and the struggles of farmers in Nigeria, read our Mini-magazine (available in the lobby of the church) and watch the video at devp.org/lent.

“In the past, farming was easy. My mother was a farmer. She used to have good harvests of cassava, cocoyam, and plantain. Now on our farm, the cassava is dying. When we uproot it, we notice the sheen of oil. We face health challenges; houses filled with cracks from extractive activities; and a poor water system, among many other challenges.” -Akpanikan Felix, Okoro-Utip Indigenous farmer.

The fifth Sunday of Lent is Solidarity Sunday which falls on the weekend of March 16th-17th this year. On this weekend our Parish will hold a special collection to assist our sisters and brothers in the Global South including farmers in Nigeria, Indonesia and Bolivia. Please give what you can. Your support will transform lives.