Thursday, September 8, 2011


Activities of Oil companies, and Environmental degradation in the Niger Delta.

The widespread damage to the ecosystem in the Niger Delta caused by oil spills, and other uncontrolled exploration related activities, led to a campaign by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni Peoples (MOSOP) in the 1990s to raise awareness about the problems faced by inhabitants of the region. The campaigned was aimed at getting local authorities, multinational oil companies and global organizations to intervene and ensure effective steps are taken towards compensation, repairs to the damaged environment and a change in the mode of operations of the oil companies.

AUTHOR: Ibrahim Oyekanmi

TIME: 3 Lesson periods (2 hours X 3)

GRADE LEVEL AND SUBJECT: Advanced Computer application packages classes, Basic Multimedia Presentations using Ms PowerPoint.

MATERIALS: - Wikipedia pages on Ogoniland
- United Nations Report on the environmental degradation in Ogoniland caused by SHEL Plc’s activities in the region.

METHODS: Readings, Reflections and discussion sessions within groups and the whole class; using Google News to search for information, and using Ms PowerPoint to create a Presentation to highlight the damage to the environment caused by activities of SHELL Plc and the efforts of the social justice movement that struggled to get SHELL to accept responsibility.

CONCEPTS: Effects of exploration and extractive activities on the environment; taking action; existing international mechanisms for pursuing environmental causes; possible success of nonviolent protest if kept up; environmental degradation and the attendant structural and physical violence.

OBJECTIVES: Learners will:
 Learn to use Ms Powerpoint to create a presentation detailing the timeline of the environmental issues of Ogoniland.

 Understand the link between the activities of oil companies and environmental degradation.

 Understand the ways in which environmental degradation leads to violence.

 Learn that effective mechanisms exist for pursuing environmental claims.

 Understand that, even if it takes long time, unflinching persistence and determined commitment to cause will certainly bring victory at the end.

0. General background lecture on Ogoniland and its environmental problems.

Learners will be guided to:

1. Get Wikipedia articles on Ogoniland.

2. Search for the news itemS on the UN report using Google News.

3. Sift through the search results to get the appropriate pages with useful details of the contents of the report.

4. Print relevant pages of the report that contain the main highlights.

The class will be divided into small groups and each group given a copy of the printouts from the report to study for a week before the next class with emphasis on the following themes:

 The people of Ogoniland before oil was discovered.
 Environmental degradation from activities if Oil companies,
 Efforts of social groups at getting the problems addressed.
 The responses of the government and the Oil companies to the efforts of activists.
 International organizations involved in investigating environmental issues.
 Achievements of the campaigns;
 Expectations for the future.

In the next lesson period, the reports will be discussed in a session to be facilitated by the teacher.

Students will be asked to raise their questions and comments on their understanding of the documents. These questions and comments should be thrown open to the whole class. From the various the submissions that come out of the discussions, 3 – 4 paragraphs-long submissions should be written out for each theme.

The written submissions for each theme should form the content of a slide in the presentation to be creates using Ms PowerPoint in the final lesson period.



  1. Ibrahim,

    The students should learn quite a bit from studying all of the printouts and should have a good understanding of the situation of Ogoniland.

    Are students meeting in groups to collectively determine the content for each theme? Are they to discuss this material together before returning to the whole class?


  2. Yes, they'd be meeting in their groups to discuss the contents of the printouts and then reach their conclusions before joining a class wide discussion.


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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.