ODUOHA - This story focuses on Total's oil and gas exploration activities in Nigeria (Rivers State) that have allegedly resulted in death, environmental damage, and farmlands destruction.

The French company has neglected to compensate victims for the harm done to their farmlands and carry out cleanup and restoration despite years of land degradation and pollution of farmlands. Crude oil is discovered in a single dig on farmland.

After failing to produce and harvest crops, some locals have chosen to settle on mining crude oil for profit.

The company did provide boreholes and scholarships for residents of host communities in some communities, but we later learned that the scholarships were not delivered as promised, and a water analysis of the borehole water provided by the company revealed that the water's pH level is below the WHO drinking water standard.

Without complete clean-up, the local communities will continue to suffer, by being exposed to oil-related pollution, while their livelihoods, be it fishing or agriculture, will be affected by water and soil degradation. At the European level, some court decisions have been taken to hold big oil companies accountable for their actions in Nigeria. By currently working to revise its Directive on Environmental Crime, the European Union aims to improve how it defines and responds to criminal offences regarding pollution, waste, and biodiversity threats.


Investigation awarded the 2023 Hostwriter Story Prize

Team members

Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi

Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi is an investigative journalist from Nigeria.

Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi

Kevin Woke

Kevin Woke is a Nigerian freelance journalist living in Port Harcourt.

Kevin Woke

Raluca Besliu

Raluca Besliu is a freelance journalist from Romania currently living in Belgium.

Raluca Besliu

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