July 15, 2008
The Niger Delta is an environmental disaster zone after fifty years
of oil exploitation.
One and a half million tons of crude oil has
been spilled into the creeks, farms and forests, the equivalent to
50 Exxon Valdez disasters, one per year.
Natural gas contained in the crude oil is not being collected, but
burnt off in gas flares, burning day and night for decades.
The flaring produces as much greenhouse gases as 18 million cars and
emits toxic and carcinogenic substances in the midst of densely
populated areas. Corruption is rampant, the security situation is
dire, people are dying. But the oil keeps flowing.
Poison Fire follows a team of local activists as they gather video
testimonies from communities on the impact of oils spills and gas
We see creeks full of crude oil, devastated mangrove forests,
wellheads that has been leaking gas and oil for months. We meet
people whose survival is acutely threatened by the loss of farmland,
fishing and drinking water and the health hazards of gas flaring.
We also meet meet with Jonah Gbemre, who took Shell to court over
the gas flaring in his village and won a surprise victory in the
Ifie Lott travels to the Netherlands to attend Shell’s Annual
She wants to ask a simple question:
Is Shell going
to obey the court order and stop flaring?