Study on the Resuscitation of the Livelihood for people of the Ogoni Kingdom
Narrative Description of Project:
The Ogoni kingdom is situated in the region of the southeast Nigeria with a population of approximately 1 million habitants. The Ogoni are an agricultural and fishing society. Yam and cassava farming are important ways of making a living, although the revenues of these products are not very high. The most important export product of Nigeria is oil, but the Ogoni people have never profited from these exports. Once the food basket for the Niger Delta and beyond, Ogonilands agricultural production has now been severely reduced. This is partly due to loss of farmlands through oil pollution and partly to soil fertility problems arising from acid/alkaline rain caused by gas flaring. Large areas of fresh and salt water resources as fishing grounds have also been rendered useless by oil spills. Food is becoming increasingly expensive and potential farmers are too poor to pay for seeds and labour. Poverty has worsened in the Ogoni areas during the last years. Nearly all oil workers are people coming from outside the area that the local people have had to compete with for basic commodities. Besides the oil installations and refineries there are no manufacturing industries in Ogoni to reduce unemployment. This situation increasingly results in psycho-social degradation.
The Ogoni people initially rose to international attention after a massive public protest campaign against Shell Oil, led by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). In a 2011 assessment of over 200 locations in Ogoniland by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), they found that impacts of the 50 years of oil production in the region extended deeper than previously thought. Because of oil spills, oil flaring, and waste discharge, the alluvial soil of the Niger Delta is no longer viable for agricultural.
UNEP estimated that it could take up to 30 years to rehabilitate Ogoniland to its full potential and that the first five years of rehabilitation would require funding of about US$1 billion. In 2012, the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources announced the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, which intends to follow the UNEP report suggestions of Ogoniland to prevent further degradation.
Although various reports and studies have executed, however no clear strategy or implementation process has been implemented. This study was executed in partnership with individuals from Ogoniland. Extensive interviews were carried out to garner a representative view from the perspective of the locals. Based on the exploration of the problem the following points are dealt with to develop solutions presented by us within the study.
Agriculture, Land Re-cultivation, Possible Technological Implementation
• Assessment on the current method of land resuscitation and its impact to the community.
• Application of other methods not discussed in the UNEP report.
• Are there possible technological methods that could be utilized in solving the issues?
• What agricultural methods are feasible for the region? Both now and the future.
• Assessment of the main economic livelihood of the people following the aftermath of the oil pollution.
• There are currently no industries in the area except oil industries. What will be the impact on the introduction of possible industries to eradicate poverty and unemployment? – Possible creation of SMEs for oil-related products
• What will be the impact and the feasibility of a tourism industry in Ogoni?
• What social programs currently exist within the contexts of the problem?
• What possible role could the leaders of Ogoni land play?
• What should be the role of the local and national government?
Shell has been an avid explorer of oil in the Ogoniland. What should their role be in the context of social responsibility?
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