Monday, October 11, 2004



By Jane Toby

?Havoc to where we ounces lived? of Jane Toby
from FON Newsletter, Spring 2000?
Translation of Nadia Scardeoni

The Nigeria of years sixty does not exist more. Of the communities once it has been made massacre.
My per diem one describes the life to Benin from 1964.

The children come from we and entirety we eat pears under l?albero and we suck the fruits dell?anacardio.
Way between the trees ricolmi of fruit with the young Patience and she interlaces my hats.
While way towards the school, is called from one house in order to repair me until the end of the rain with all the family. A child in the grembo puts me -- tender quiet brown and - dressed with a perline thread that encircles it to the life. Then, the mother wraps it in the cloth, alloy the child to the shoulders, and it continues to sleep, he does not cry while it steps on the sweet potato and softens the garri.

In our days Immaculate - ventisei years - Ogoni of the Niger Delta, producer of oil, writes from an encampment of profughi:
While we cultivated the earth, and I was still small, the earth was thick and black. Hour seems sand. The puttinges do not grow. The cassava he was large, two persons pulled it from the earth. Hour the cassava much food is small... not c?è. On our earth... a great iron oil pipe-line is looked at. If it bursts... it sees the crude oil. To times it slides in the cunetta. To times on the earth. When we were children we painted the face with that oil. Not we knew that it was a great evil therefore for we?

The oil has been uncovered in 1956 to Oloibiri, to 90 km to the west of Port Harcourt. L?esportazione is begun in 1958. Great amounts of oil have begun to flow from 1965. Today the State of the Nigeria is the fifth producer dell? OPEC and the greatest dell?Africa with its 95% of exports. A third party of oil of the Nigeria is boarded for Stati-Uniti but from the years the sixty Nigeriani is becomes to you more and more poor.

To Sapoba, c?è a deep, clear river, that it flows quickly; the persons who live sull?isola go and come with the canoe. Rain and immense tranquillity reign in the green forest. The women chinano like dancers, levano water from the river and raise the water jugs of zucca on the head. Here we rest ourselves, listening to nothing other that the crepitìo of the rain on the roof of pond.
The rain that door the attended coolness, a lot to along.

From the moment in which and? l?industria NATO of the oil in Nigeria, the oil societies have misused dell?ambiente, threatening the life of the persons, dell?acqua and of the earth. Every 24 hours, 400 barrels of crude oil end burn to you, 75% of gas come wasted.
Hundreds of trillions of dollars of crude oil have been extracted from the Niger Delta. But seven million inhabitants of the Niger Delta are between poor of the Nigeria and deprive of the fundamental resources. The disparities are much obvious in the regions where the gas eruptions illuminate the sky night and day. ?Un strongly boom and a large column of smoke hits l?area with gases and the intense heat. The night is swallowed in the strange and intense light. The rain acida hits the roofs of pond one or two, destroying them in years. Not c?è drinkable water. The increase of the puttinges and? arrested?

L?Ufficio of the public relations of the east unit of the Shell Nigeria denies to have brought damages the community and asserts that the local residents can dry their cibarie - without to pay! - putting them beside gases it sets afire to you.

After the school, I return to long house the red path dell?argilla where some family lives. To times I see a mother that she washes its children, pouring l?acqua from a bucket over the small bodies. On the shoulders door a child. Them salute: Koyo, Omomo. The face of the mother is increased in a smile, takes my hand and it tightens it; china the head and anch?io chino mine. Welcome, welcome. Polli and the black goat with its goat one walks with me along the path. People make signals and she calls to me: Onybo. (That is: peeling, white woman). And the children me run encounter and they touch to me.

The oil pipe-lines - someone has beyond 40 years of age - cross the countries and the fields; many are outside of the earth. In Ogoni they pass of forehead to the houses. The rusted oil pipe-lines grow tall until all?orizzonte in Umuechem. The chronic disattenzione to the maintenance cause constant losses of liquid and disasters. In average, in the Niger Delta, at least three deposits of oil to the month are recorded.
In the june of 1998, an oil pipe-line (of 16 inches) of the Shell, of which it was known makes it, has poured 800,000 barrels of crude oil on the fields near Otuegwe. Successive Nell?ottobre, more than 1.000 persons has been hit from mortal ustioni them when an oil pipe-line of the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) is exploded to Jesse, neighbor to Warri.

Patience, runs to me next in its dressed of flowers brown and the children play in the earth with lean only little yellowed pezze. We walk along the red clay roads and the children dance and laugh and clap the hands, happy and spensierati.

Friday, 17 september 1999, to the Shell Ughelli West Flow Station has been notified the escape of an oil pipe-line. The responsibles of the Shell have identified the escape point, have promised to return later that same day. To the 4 of morning, c?è be un?esplosione. People ran via from the houses, urlando and crying. L?incendio was spreaded everywhere.

A day comes Charity from its country until house ours. Me door the fresh eggs and two walnuts of coconut, I give the oranges to them dall?albero that grow in our courtyard.

Problems of respiration, cough with blood, diseases of the skin, tumors, disturb gastrointestinal and cancer is the newer diseases today in the villages of the Niger Delta. Kwashikor? and other diseases of the malnutrizione - they are scattered ovunque because l?industria of the oil it contaminates l?acqua and the earth. The small farms are failing, the palm trees do not give fruits, the fish are in extinction, the women cannot nourish their families, cannot send the children to school, cannot allow the medical cures. Many are forced to the prostituzione. Nevertheless these same women mobilitano entire communities in order to make demonstrations and to give voice to the claims against the oil companies.

The protests for the dell?ambiente protection are intercrossed with orrendi abuses of the human rights. L?organizzazione Human Rights Watch has found frequent cases in which the persons came brutalizzate why they have tried of esternare theirs you protest to the oil Societies. Agents of emergency have threatened, beaten and put in prison the members of the delegations of the communities that they tried to protest.

In December 1998, 5000 coming from Ijaw young people from 500 communities of the Niger Delta are themselves meet to you to Kaiama in order to discuss about their serious difficulties. The Declaration of Kaiama is risen some that more strongly demands for the local communities a voice that it represents them in order to discuss the development about the Delta. The Council of the Ijaw young people has been formed in order to coordinate the fight of the Ijaw people in order autodeterminar and for having justice. The Ijaws has been accused to foment putsches against the near ethnic groups.

Joined arms, the school boys, carry the books on the witness. The larger boys carry fratellini and the sorelline on the shoulders, as they make their mothers. Of night, the boys walk for the roads buie with emergency, with the saldezza that comes they gives the custom to embraces familiar, to feeling itself united.

Tertius, one student activist of 27 years and an associate of the Niger Delta Human Rights Organizaton (Organization for the human rights in the Niger Delta) has been interviewed after one manifestation: Many persons ran. She had herself to be escaped in order to save the own life, why the deliveries were to talk nonsense. Therefore we are run in the forest, we have gathered and we continued to defend to us. She was like being in war, an armed war between students without crews and soldiers?

From the moment in which the civil government of Obasanjo has been insediato, the abuses of the human rights continue and dell?ambiente.
?Non c?è a solo... watt of national or federal electricity, nothing convogliata water to means of pipages, a single federal road (22 km), nothing institutes of post-secondary education, and the primary and secondary systems are collapse to you. The alluviums infuriate in the region. Migliaia of persons is dispersed. The fields cultivate to you, the destroyed houses and schools, and c?è threat of epidemics for l?inquinamento dell? water.

In the september of 1999, nine activists of the group Essential Action, from Stati-Uniti are themselves bring in Niger Delta to you. The group has visited the communities that suffer caused dell?inquinamento give: Shell, Mobil, Elf and Agip, and have found that it had not been made un?adeguata pulizia of the losses of oil.
The residents dell?Umuebulu have explained as the Shell had acquired their earth promising to construct equipments for the workers; instead he has dug a great pit in order to unload to us within the toxic refusals. The near populations are affette from diseases of the several skin and other problems of health. Moreover to the delegates of the group Essential Action they have been documented the news on the extinction of some species of fish and the cassava, happened after l?avvento of the search of the oil.
?La Delta and? be snaturata from the incomplete plans, it abandons and not-functional puttinges in action without consultations or planning to you adapted to the life of the existing communities? it says a document from the United Nations.

L?Human Rights Watch believes that us its people not participerà to just the government could not be a solution to the conflict in the Niger Delta finchè.



Jane Toby, from New York, and? brought in Nigeria with l? Governmental organization LAST PEACE CORPS (Bodies of Peace) and has taught from 1963 to the 65 to the Eghosa Anglican Grammar School di Benin City.
The news of the brutal exploitation of the earth and the people of the Niger Delta has given origin to this return of the memory in the places where it had lived very other experiences of life sharing.
Dall?articolo DEVASTATION, WHERE WE HAVE LIVED of Jane Toby, the per diem one of the memory is ollowed to the report of the loss of the existence right of people.

Nadia Scardeoni


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