Nigeria: environmental threat to families

Caught in a Niger Delta downpour, a woman runs for shelter. The plastic bottles of homemade petrol she was selling are beaten off their wooden perch by the heavy rain. The smell of petrol rises from the ground and hangs in the air before being washed down a lane past small concrete houses. There is little research into human health issues from exposure to oil spills on land. Oil seeps into the soil, the air and the water table, releasing harmful chemicals like benzene and toluene. Benzene is a poison, while toluene can cause kidney and liver damage. ‘Our farming area is always deep with oil, when you go there you can recognise the odour,’ says Chief Bira Saturday. He has suffered from asthma since a spill. ‘The doctor said it was the odour of this oil that we are breathing that damaged the baby in my womb’, his wife added.

Pray: for more money to be released by governments and oil giants into research to eliminate the hundreds of oil spills in Nigeria every year and their devastating effects. (Psalm 37:27)