A movie about the pipelines, smoke shops and oil spills that have poisoned the community of Byhali and left residents reeling.
The movie by British director, David Mackenzie, is about the plight of the residents of Byahela, where the pipeline that supplies fuel to the refinery was built in 2013.
Byhaleel, a town of 30,000, has been the site of some of the worst environmental pollution in Nigeria’s oil-rich northeast for decades.
The pipeline, constructed by an American company, runs through the heart of town, damaging crops, killing fish and turning fields into a toxic wasteland.
The film’s producers have sought to portray the environmental damage caused by the pipeline as an economic and social problem rather than a human one.
“Byhaleal was a community where the people had lost everything and this is a movie about it,” Mackenzie told BuzzFeed News in an interview.
“It’s an incredibly difficult story and it’s been a very emotional story for us to tell.
We hope people see it and feel it.”
The story of Byhaaleel comes after the United Nations released a damning report on the oil and gas industry’s toxic legacy in Nigeria.
“The oil companies have been responsible for a long list of human rights abuses in Nigeria,” said Kaleida Gyan, an independent environmental campaigner with the Nigerian Centre for Environmental Action.
“These include the widespread and systematic exploitation of the natural resources in this region, such as forests, lakes, and rivers, and the destruction of the environment, including water resources and biodiversity.”
The Nigerian government has made significant strides to tackle pollution in the country, but there are still areas of oil and other minerals still unregulated.
“We know that by 2030, Nigeria’s population is projected to rise from 5.2 billion to 10.4 billion,” Gyan said.
“But even that’s not enough to protect all of the earth’s natural resources.
By the year 2050, we will need to grow at a rate of at least 50 per cent.”