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world bank-funded pipeline project under investigation

Friends of the Earth International has been working with FoE groups in West Africa to support a stronger network and more solidarity among communities affected by the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). This pipeline, which is now operational, runs from Nigeria through Benin, Togo and Ghana. In 2007 FoEI saw a major campaign goal achieved: the World Bank approved a July 2007 inspection of the controversial pipeline project.


world bank-funded pipeline project under investigationbuilding community solidarity: This result came during a busy year of work on the WAGP issue. In January, 2007 Friends of the Earth International facilitated an exchange visit between community members affected by the WAGP, from Nigeria and Ghana to Togo. This allowed campaigners and community leaders to share their experiences and build stronger solidarity.

In June, FoE Nigeria held an environmental monitors training workshop in Lagos for communities impacted by the Pipeline Project. They also organized a strategy session among Nigerian communities advising them on organising strategies, and on how to engage with the Inspection Panel. We then drafted various international media advisories which gained worldwide coverage on their plight.

the inspection: Following that, in July 2007, the World Bank Board approved Inspection took place. This followed on from an official complaint brought by 12 Nigerian communities, supported by FoEI, which was filed with the Inspection Panel. The communities raised concerns about inadequacy of compensation paid to landowners, insufficient pipeline safety measures, and lack of information about environmental impacts. The WAGP has also failed to realize its promise to make a meaningful contribution to highly-polluting gas flaring in the Niger Delta. In general, the communities’ complaint increases public scrutiny of the World Bank’s projects and policies, especially in terms of its stated objectives to deal with climate change and provide energy access for the world’s poor. Read the outcome of the investigation on the website of the Inspection Panel.

Finally, in October 2007, FoE Nigeria gave a presentation on the project and its associated problems at the Public Hearing on the World Bank in Europe.

a star case: Looking back on this campaign for 2007, Friends of the Earth International believes it provides a prime example of how we can take local communities’ needs and wishes to the national and global level of campaigning and awareness.

more information: Read about the FoEI exchanges for WAGP affected communities.

with thanks to our funders: the dutch ministry of foreign affairs, the c.s. mott foundation, and the wallace global fund


photo credit: serge marti, friends of the earth


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