Black Tide! A song mobilizing the world to fight oil pollution

“Big Oil holds the world – its climate, its environment, and its economy – in a vice-like grip. This worldwide grip means that it’s going to take a worldwide movement to turn back the black tide of oil pollution – and to save the world’s water,” Klaus Stieglitz of Sign of Hope, the Germany-based NGO.

“And we at Sign of Hope are doing our best to further the mobilization of the world’s victims of the black tide,” Stieglitz concludes.

On Black Tide:

“Black Tide” emerged this spring from the people of South Sudan’s struggle to drive back the oil pollution flowing into their water and on to their land. Created by the AnaTaban artists’ collection, the powerful video went viral on the WhatsApp and other networks maintained by young Africans.

This success led a group of activists from Africa, Germany and elsewhere to perform “Black Tide” on September 30. Venue was a historic church in Berlin.

Eighteen days after that, “Black Tide in the Niger Delta” was released. This video graphically and eloquently shows the devastation wrought by decades of the black tide – oil pollution – upon the lives of millions of people living in the delta.

Black Tide in the Niger Delta

A song mobilizing the world to fight oil pollution!

A song for the millions of victims of oil pollution in Nigeria

“Black Tide” emerged this spring from the people of South Sudan’s fight to drive back the oil pollution flowing into their water and on to their land. Created by the AnaTaban artists’ collection, the powerful video went viral on the WhatsApp and other networks maintained by young Africans.

This success led a group of activists from Africa, Germany and elsewhere to perform “Black Tide” on September 30. Venue was the historic Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis church in Berlin.

Eighteen days after that, “Black Tide in the Niger Delta” was released. This video graphically and eloquently shows the devastation wrought by decades of the black tide – oil pollution – upon the lives of millions of people living in the delta.

Nnimmo Bassey – the Nigerian peoples’ rights activist – was the force driving the creation of “Black Tide in the Niger Delta”.

“Our goal is to sing pollution to silence,” states Nnimmo. “Such cultural tools as music and poetry are the means to convey the harm being inflicted – by neocolonial and irresponsible parties – on poor communities in the Niger Delta.”

Nnimmo adds: “Everyone can relate to music. Everyone can dance to music. Everyone can act against ecocide.”

The Black Tide washing over the Niger Delta: key facts

Since the commencement in 1958 of the exporting of crude oil from Nigeria, an unprecedented amount has been spilled.

In one quarter century (1976-2001), there were 6,817 oil spills in the country. They spewed three million barrels of oil into the environment – nearly 70% of it maritime and another 25% wetlands. Of the oil spilled, more than 70% was not recovered.

The largest of the spills occurred in 1980. Royal Dutch Shell’s Forcados Terminal tank failure dumped some 580,000 barrels (92,000 m3) of crude oil into the ocean, with Texaco’s offshore station adding a further 400,000 barrels (64,000 m3).

The epicenter of oil-caused devastation in Nigeria is the Ogoni region, which is on the coast of Nigeria.

The Ogoni region and people: key dates and facts:

The Sentry’s new blockbuster report: confirming and citing findings of Sign of Hope’s scientific investigation of oil pollution’s effects in South Sudan

https://cdn.thesentry.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/TakingOfSouthSudan-Sept2019-TheSentry.pdf

“The Taking of South Sudan”

Key quote in report:

“Klaus Stieglitz, vice-chairman of the Konstanz,Germany-based non-profit organization Sign of Hope that has previously investigated pollution
concerns in South Sudan, speaks of an “oil catastrophe” affecting more than 600,000 people.”

Key findings in report on oil pollution:

“Oil production in Upper Nile state has contaminated the environment and threatened the health of the adjacent population in Upper Nile state.”

“Extremely high” and “elevated” levels of heavy metals – such as lead and mercury – and of dangerous chemicals – such as PAHs, TPH and BTEX” – often linked to infant stillbirths and deformities – found in and around oil fields

Widespread and vociferous protests by local residents and officials have been stifled and ignored by government.

This contamination of water and land has been caused by the widespread and deliberate failure to adhere to environmental standards by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company – in which Petronas of Malaysia and China National Petroleum have major equity stakes.

Quoting from  the report:

Hazardous Waste
Oil production in Paloch and Adar has contaminated the environment and threatened the health of the
adjacent population in Upper Nile state. An unpublished study commissioned by Dar Petroleum about
the management of hazardous waste associated with its oil production in Upper Nile shows the extent
to which the company is aware of its role in the environmental damage.

Prepared for Dar Petroleum by consulting firms Envirocare and Enviroserv, the internal study documents
found elevated levels of heavy metals and several dangerous chemical compounds in sites around
Dar Petroleum’s production facilities. In some instances, the researchers warned of “extremely high”
levels of dangerous chemicals. At dumpsites near the oilfields, the researchers found that high levels
of accumulated lead and mercury, and some waste pits had elevated levels of arsenic. In numerous
locations, the researchers found heightened levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 66 a
class of chemicals produced when petroleum, coal, garbage, wood and some other products are
burned. 67 The study also documented elevated levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenezene and
xylenes—a group of compounds associated with oil production collectively known by the acronym
BTEX.
The study paints a grim picture of waste management at Dar Petroleum’s facilities. “The yard is visibly
contaminated,” it said of the Adar oilfield. Images included in the study of waste sites at Dar Petroleum’s
facilities resemble open, unkempt garbage heaps. Mud pits at the oilfield used to store waste were
compromised “as a result of liner decay, damage and theft,” the report found. 68 Dumpsites that
contained “high levels of lead” and “extremely high levels of PAHs, BTEX and TPH” were characterized
by “inadequate housekeeping.” And at Paloch,“chemicals washing out of the former yard has lead to
contamination of areas outside” Operational Base Camp. The contamination thus extended beyond
Dar Petroleum’s facilities.
A November 2018 report presentation by Dar Petroleum depicts observations at chemical yards and
landfill of Dar Petroleum facilities taken as part of an integrated hazardous waste management feasibility
study.

Upper Nile residents have long raised concerns about the public health impacts of oil-related pollution.
“Oil production pollutants are suspected by communities to have caused many new health problems,
such as increased infertility in women, a higher number of miscarriages, and eye and skin problems,” a
2014 study by Cordaid found. “According to medical staff in Melut and Koch, a link between the pollution
caused by oil production and some of these health problems cannot be excluded. Communities are not
made fully aware of hazards associated with the production of oil.” 69
“EnviroServ Uganda, as would be expected, respects the confidentiality of client information and thus
is not willing to share findings and information from the report,” a representative from the company
wrote in an email in response to questions posed by The Sentry in September 2019. “[Dar Petroleum] has shared the report with the relevant authorities in South Sudan.”

The known public health consequences of exposure to chemicals identified at Dar Petroleum’s
facilities are significant and reflect similar concerns. Exposure to PAHs can harm fetal development. 70
Benzene is a known carcinogen, with the World Health Organization describing Benzene as “a major
public health concern.” 71 And high short-term exposure to metallic mercury can also cause a range
of medical ailments, including lung damage and elevated blood pressure or heart rate, according to
the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association. 72

Klaus Stieglitz, vice-chairman of the Konstanz,Germany-based non-profit organization Sign of Hope that has previously investigated pollution
concerns in South Sudan, speaks of an “oil catastrophe” affecting more than 600,000 people. 73

Black Tide in Berlin: Songbook!

Black Tide in Berlin

30. September 20 Uhr

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche

Black Tide Music: Sebastian Oswald Text: Terry Swartzberg / Anataban

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

Poisoning our land

Poisoning our water

Choking our sons

Choking our daughters

Sisters and brothers,

fathers and mothers,

Time to take a stand

against those stealing our lives,

Our lives

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Oil profits in the billions

Oil victims in the millions

Oil companies polluting

Government looting

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Time to get back our wealth

Time to get back our health

Time to turn back the black tide

And get back our homes and pride.

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight the Black Tide

What are we doing here? Jocelyn B. Smith

Solo Jocelyn

I don’t mind waiting Juanita Bynum

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting for the Lord

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting

I don’t mind waiting for the Lord

Shine A Light Jocelyn B. Smith

Sometimes I feel somethin’ gettin’ in the way
Like missing a chance to change
All the reasons for the hurt today
So if we all use our voices for a better place

It’s a fearful man that strikes with another blow
Who decides to kill love in the flowers that grow
Just one simple reason and heaven knows

We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT for those who don’t understand
SHINE A LIGHT for those who can
We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT it’s our greatest chance

When I forget just remind me
To SHINE A LIGHT

With all the love we have
We got so much to give
So if you can believe
Then let’s begin to live
It’s a choice for the taking
It’s the reason that is

We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT for those who don’t understand
SHINE A LIGHT for those who can
We’re gonna SHINE A LIGHT it’s our greatest chance

When I forget just remind me
To SHINE A LIGHT

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfnwugPvRu4

Black Tide Music: Sebastian Oswald Text: Terry Swartzberg / Anataban

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our lives.

There’s a black tide poisoning our water.

There’s a black tide poisoning our people

Poisoning our land

Poisoning our water

Choking our sons

Choking our daughters

Sisters and brothers,

fathers and mothers,

Time to take a stand

against those stealing our lives,

Our lives

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Oil profits in the billions

Oil victims in the millions

Oil companies polluting

Government looting

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight

the Black Tide

Time to get back our wealth

Time to get back our health

Time to turn back the black tide

And get back our homes and pride.

Chorus!

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to make it right

Yalle, yalle, yalle got to stand together and fight the Black Tide

Joseph Oduha escapes kidnappers

Joseph Oduha, one of South Sudan’s most respecter journalists (forsouthsudan.com, the East African and other media and platforms, was kidnapped on September 14th in Kampala. After several hours in the clutches of his abductor, Joseph managed to escape – but not before suffering at their hands.

“I will not be intimidated, but will continue to report fairly and objectively on politics and business in South Sudan,” states Joseph.

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On World Environment day 2019: Oil pollution alert from South Sudan environment minister

Searing criticisms of government and oil companies

by Francis Michael Gwang, We Are Witness

June 5, 2019

‘Oil pollution is widespread in South Sudan. The country’s government is well aware of it, and of the extensive damaging of health resulting from it. Despite this, the government has failed to take action to put a stop to it.’

That is the gist of the remarks made by Josephine Nafon, South Sudan’s minister of the environment and tourism. Her criticisms were voiced at ceremony held in Juba to mark World Environment Day 2019.

“Oil contaminants have caused a suffering of the health of a large number of the people living near oil wells,” reports the minister. She views the ultimate cause of this suffering to be the reluctance on the part of the government of South Sudan to take effective action.

This reluctance manifests itself in the government’s unwillingness to implement and enforce the commendable environmental and human protection laws that it had enacted. It also reveals itself in the government’s failure to conduct studies capable of revealing the extent of this damaging.

“We in the government are in fact well aware of the damaging of the environment taking place in oil production areas. And yet, notwithstanding this, we still refuse to effectively implement the laws,” states the minister.

The pollution stems from the oil companies operating in South Sudan. As the minister states, their only goal is to maximize profits. They do not care about the environment or about the health of the people living in and around the production areas.

In a key point, the minister pointed out that the prime victims of this callous pursuit of earnings are women and children. She cited the pollution-caused emergence of unknown diseases, the birth of deformed offspring and the prevalence of stillbirths.

Minister Nafon appealed to her government and to the companies to allocate the funds necessary to clean up the environment and to help the many victims.

She also revealed that her ministry had formulated a plan to stiffen the laws governing the production and transportation of oil – and to thus finally achieve an effective protection of the environment.

Lars Andersen calls to protect journalists

Norwegian ambassador calls for effective protection of South Sudan journalists

by Joseph Oduha

February 4, 2019

“We are worried about developments in South Sudan. What we see happening there: that journalists are being persecuted, as is anybody else that criticizes the government. This does not bode well for the country’s civil society – or for its peace process,” states Lars Andersen, Norway’s ambassador to South Sudan.

Andersen continues: “South Sudan’s journalists and activities require effective protection from government-issued harassment, as this is the way to ensure freedom of the press and speech.”

Andersen’s remarks were made at a workshop held on February 4, 2019 in Juba. The workshop was organized by Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Its objective: to develop the capabilities of women leaders in South Sudan.

As Andersen pointed out: “A free exchange of opinion and a voicing of criticisms are elements required for the development of a society. If you stifle criticism and dissent, you won’t make the best decisions for your country. And you certainly won’t get a handle on corruption and other crimes,” Andersen noted.

“Freedom of speech and media are key values of humankind and key indicators of a country’s political health. This also applies to each organization. Each of them has to promote and protect these freedoms in its internal dealings,” Anderson concluded.

Andersen’s remarks were occasioned by further reports of the South Sudanese government’s crackdown’s causing journalists to leave their professions, or to resort to strict self-censorship.

 

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Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Etiam non suscipit dui. Vestibulum semper pharetra elit quis placerat. Pellentesque eros ligula, convallis et erat pharetra, fermentum ultricies ex. Cras pharetra rhoncus nisi, in aliquam libero aliquet a. Etiam porta risus id lacus gravida, a pharetra neque maximus.

James Ross

New sculptures from 10th century

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Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Etiam non suscipit dui. Vestibulum semper pharetra elit quis placerat. Pellentesque eros ligula, convallis et erat pharetra, fermentum ultricies ex. Cras pharetra rhoncus nisi, in aliquam libero aliquet a. Etiam porta risus id lacus gravida, a pharetra neque maximus.

James Ross

The Cultural exchange in 11th Century

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Proin nec convallis ipsum. Ut molestie aliquam sapien. Donec nulla lacus, laoreet ut urna eget, facilisis posuere leo. Aliquam ac dolor bibendum, accumsan odio eu, lobortis risus. Nam lobortis eleifend consequat. Nunc scelerisque vulputate justo, eget imperdiet turpis. Quisque eget dui eget risus posuere accumsan. Proin sed bibendum lectus. Ut ex est, ultrices quis laoreet at, dignissim nec massa. Sed ac quam ex. Vestibulum a vehicula erat.

Proin nec convallis ipsum. Ut molestie aliquam sapien. Donec nulla lacus, laoreet ut urna eget, facilisis posuere leo. Aliquam ac dolor bibendum, accumsan odio eu, lobortis risus. Nam lobortis eleifend consequat. Nunc scelerisque vulputate justo, eget imperdiet turpis. Quisque eget dui eget risus posuere accumsan. Proin sed bibendum lectus. Ut ex est, ultrices quis laoreet at, dignissim nec massa. Sed ac quam ex. Vestibulum a vehicula erat. Proin nec convallis ipsum. Ut molestie aliquam sapien. Donec nulla lacus, laoreet ut urna eget, facilisis posuere leo. Aliquam ac dolor bibendum, accumsan odio eu, lobortis risus.

Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Etiam non suscipit dui. Vestibulum semper pharetra elit quis placerat. Pellentesque eros ligula, convallis et erat pharetra, fermentum ultricies ex. Cras pharetra rhoncus nisi, in aliquam libero aliquet a. Etiam porta risus id lacus gravida, a pharetra neque maximus.

James Ross