Nigeria's oil capital without electricityThis essay is part of a (more or less) weekly feature on this blog that presents interesting stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, Israel, Iraq and Iran*. (*-added on the suggestion of a reader)
I've always advocated that if you want to be an informed citizen, you should rely on many media sources to get your information. BUT if you live in the US and can only choose one, I'd highly recommend The Week (website). This is because it's not one media source but many: it's a sort of world press review, publishing articles from countless different US and international press outlets.
The most recent issue cited an interesting editorial from the Nigerian paper This Day.
Bayelsa State is located in the heart of Nigeria's oil producing region. Yet like most of the Niger Delta, Bayelsa residents remain mired in poverty.
That's due in no small part to the massive environmental damage caused by oil exploiters such as Shell. Ecological devastation is pretty big deal for poor residents who rely on fishing an other subsistence activities for survival.
Yet despite putting up with the rape of its natural resources by foreign multinationals, Bayelsans haven't got much in return. The state home to one of Nigeria's largest deposits of crude oil doesn't even have electricity 50 years after the 'godsend' black gold was discovered.
I'm sure Global Witness wouldn't be surprised.