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Most Nigerian oil producing states have become victims of environmental degradation and pollution. The operations of foreign and nonforeign oil companies in the state have increased oil pollution which has become a monthly occurrence in Bayelsa State. The impacts have been destructive on ecosystems especially on their arable farms and surface waters. This has destroyed the livelihoods of inhabitants who depend largely on their lands for farming and rivers for fishing thereby spreading health problems as well. The affected communities include the people of Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Sangana in Brass LG. This ecosocial event is a climate injustice to the indigenous communities and occupants, who benefit from the natural resources. Youths have used the media to call out for help over the unbearable situation of their lands seeking. The rural communities have lost their livelihoods to oil spills, aquatic animals especially fishes have been affected. The most recent spill experienced in January 16th, 2021 had damaging impacts on the fishes, so much that many fisher men have been rendered jobless. Unfortunately, the Koluama people are fast losing their livelihood and their heritage as great fishing community. Since, their fishing nets and materials have been damaged with clots of oil floating on their rivers. There are huge amounts of dead fishes and crabs observed at the rivers. Worse still, many of the inhabitants are sick as a result of the oil spills. The cooperate voices of indigenous youths call out to Nigerian government and international bodies aimed at environmental justice over terrorism and injustice over their lands, and livelihood. This is in response and honour to the Paris agreement of 2016, in addition to the sustainable development goals for the health and wellbeing of the affected communities.

Angela Akanwa (Ph.D) in Nigeria Coalition for Eco-social Health Research

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