Despite an estimated $US 600 billion in Nigerian oil revenue since its discovery in 1956, wealth does not trickle downstream, as many villages in the Niger Delta lack electricity and running water.
The lives of tens of thousands of Niger Delta residents are endangered by the fierce armed clash between an aggressive guerrilla militia and the Nigerian military over control of the nation’s oil wealth. But as residents have been forced to evacuate their homes and trek through one of the world’s largest wetlands — now monumentally contaminated with oilfield wastes — their lives are also threatened by the toxins, industrial wastes, and oil slicks that are poisoning their drinking water and contaminating the fish they rely on for food.
Just one drop of oil makes 25 liters (6.6 gallons) of water undrinkable, and more than 9 million barrels of oil have been spilled in the Delta over the past 60 years. Check out the infographic below for more details on how Nigerian power, poverty, and pollution go hand in hand.
This map was made to accompany an article by Circle of Blue reporter Aubrey Ann Parker: War on Water: A Clash Over Oil, Power and Poverty in the Niger Delta. Parker is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan and Hannah Nester is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. Both are interns at Circle of Blue, where they specialize in data visualization and design, respectively. Reach Parker at circleofblue.org/contact.