This week I attended a meeting to develop a campaign to get Standard Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) of Japan to not finance a 1,443-kilometer crude oil pipeline through Uganda and Tanzania.
During the meeting, I kept thinking of my friends, colleagues and people in Ogoniland, Nigeria. The social and environmental crisis and injustice exposed by Ken Saro Wiwa in the oil-rich and massively polluted Niger Delta are still ongoing; the people of Ogoniland are still suffering from the effects of over 50 years of land, air and water pollution by the oil industry.
Ken Saro Wiwa was a prominent environmental activist against oppression of Ogoni people who was executed over 24 years ago for mobilizing a popular movement that demanded accountability for companies like Shell that were extracting oil in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
Today, Standard Bank and SMBC want to put us through the same pain again. And if we don’t do anything, the livelihoods of millions of people in Uganda and Tanzania could be negatively impacted. Moreover, the science is abundantly clear that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground to ensure a future for our planet, and that means we can’t let any new fossil fuel project be built anywhere in the world.
A crude oil pipeline will intensify climate change and impact the livelihoods of more than 30 million people in Uganda and Tanzania, for whom an oil spill could prove disastrous. Please sign this petition calling on Standard Bank – South Africa and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) to not finance this project: http://bit.do/fqhst
Posted by 350 Africa on Sunday, January 26, 2020
By sending a message to Standard Bank and SMBC, we’ll send a clear signal to these oil giants that we’ll continue to fight until community rights are protected, and our water and climate matter more than fossil fuel profits.
Whether they heed your words or not, your support is still meaningful for our friends in Uganda and Tanzania. We’re up against some of the most dangerous conditions for climate activists anywhere on earth, and it means a lot to know that we have your support.