Ogoni: Infant Mortality Increases as Niger Delta Remains Polluted
Photo Courtesy: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU) @flickr.com
Representatives of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) have spoken out against oil conglomerate Shell and the Government of Nigeria for their lack of clean-up efforts, and how this as a result has been severely polluting the region. They report that the Niger Delta region has been suffering from high rates of infant mortality, with 4 out of 10 children dying within three months of being born. Additionally, a recent study from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland has found that of the 16,000 infants killed within their first month of life, 11,000 infants would have survived their first year if it weren’t for the pollution caused by the oil spills. With no clean water and basic facilities, the Ogoni people will continue to suffer from detrimental health issues.
Below is a press release by The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP):
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has decried the high rate of infant mortality in Ogoniland. Speaking in Bori, headquarter of Khana local government area yesterday, Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke said "Shell's war against the Ogoni people have started showing an unprecedented impact that threatens to wipe off the entire Ogoni nation"
Nsuke said preliminary checks show that at least 4 out of 10 children born in Ogoniland die within 3 months. He noted that this trend has been noticed in all Ogoni kingdoms in varying degrees. He thus called for immediate action to remediate the polluted land in order to save the people from ultimate death.
'We are very scared by this trend particularly because a recent study by Prof. Roland Hodler and Research Assistant, Anna Breuderle, from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland have found that of the 16,000 infants killed within the first month of their life in the Niger Delta in 2012, 70 per cent, about 11,000 infants would have survived their first year in the absence of oil spills".
Nsuke said the situation in Ogoniland is an emergency and underscores the need for immediate action to improve the quality of drinking water available for the people and for the remediation of the polluted environment.
The MOSOP spokesman said the government of Nigeria and Shell are to blame for this calamity.
"Shell had been primarily responsible for the death of these children but not without the alliance of the Nigerian government. They have failed to cleanup Ogoniland, they have also failed to provide clean water and basic health facilities for the people and we have reasons to say they have deliberately done these.