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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Nigerian women stage new oil protest
The women display their list of demands
Little oil wealth is passed down to local communities

A group of women protesters have invaded one of Chevron Oil company's installations in the southern state of Ondo, severely disrupting production there.

A spokesman for the company said that about 50 women had barricaded themselves into site offices - and that the company's workers had been evacuated as a precaution.

This is the latest of similar protests in recent weeks by women demanding jobs for their sons and husbands, as well as development funding for their local communities.

Protesters at Abiteye station
This is the fourth such protest in a month

There is widespread discontent amongst local communities that over the years they have received few benefits from the vast oil wealth in the region.

And worse, that the presence of the multi-national oil companies has led to environmental pollution, severely disrupting local industries such as fishing.

This is the fourth such protest in the past month, and each time the demands have a followed a similar theme.

Copycat protests

The largest protest was early last month when Chevron's main export facility was invaded, severely disrupting the company's operations for over a week.

On that occasion, Chevron ceded to many of the protesters' demands, agreeing to increase recruitment among the local communities, and fund the construction of local projects, such as schools and clinics.

But the success of such invasions in recent weeks, has clearly bolstered the confidence of women to launch fresh protests elsewhere.

They have clearly hit upon a very effective means to express the frustrations of their people, and to embarrass the oil companies into making substantial concessions to their communities.


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