“The day of the explosion [of the oil well], we saw a huge cloud of black smoke heading towards our community. It entered our nostrils and our eyes and made all of us sick. We were forced to leave because we no longer had water to drink. All we want is to go home.”
Patience, a farmer from Bue-Leh, now lives in Bori with her children, but regularly returns to Bue-Leh. Her goiter has developed over the years due to inhaled toxic residues.
Environmental migrants of the Niger Delta
On April 4, 2008, members of the Bue-Leh community, an Ogoni community of the Niger Delta, had to flee their homes following an oil spill a few metres from their island. Oil snaked down waterways, destroying their livelihoods such as fishing and agriculture, and severely affecting their health.
The work of Social Action
Development and Peace and its local partner Social Action are working on capacity building for dozens of the most vulnerable communities in the Niger Delta, such as Bue-Leh.
“The causes of forced migration in the Niger Delta are ecological,” explains Fyneface Dumnamene, project manager at Social Action. “We must continue to support Ogoni communities in their quest for justice so that they can return home. If we abandon them, the social and ecological injustices will remain.”
2.62 million internally displaced people and refugees