In the global scramble for energy, Nigeria is blessed. Its resources earn billions of dollars each year, and it bobs atop enough oil and gas reserves to ensure wealth for generations. Yet try telling that to impoverished villagers in the country's Niger Delta region, where Royal Dutch Shell has drilled for nearly 50 years. "Look at this—the crops are stunted, the water is polluted," rails Bari-Ara Kpalap, grabbing a wilted stalk of cassava as he stands ankle-deep in oily water. For Kpalap, a local activist, there is one obvious culprit: "A great part of our problems have been caused by...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!