Where We Work
The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is working to improve the quality of life for Niger Delta communities of Nigeria.
Approximately 70% of the population in the Niger Delta Region lives below the poverty line.
Although the region is one the world’s largest sources of energy, and the export of oil provides Nigeria with 75% of its foreign exchange earnings, the country still ranks as one of the 30 poorest in the world.
About the Niger Delta Region
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The Niger Delta Region is made up of nine of the Nigeria’s 36 states, which include: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers, and is spread across 185 local government areas. It is a densely populated and poor area that represents 12% of Nigeria’s total surface area with 112,110 square kilometers. The average population density is 265 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Young people dominate the Niger Delta population and those ages 30 and younger comprise 62% of the population. Delta residents ages 70 and older account for only 2% of the population.
The natural delta of the Niger River is a vast sedimentary basin. The delta is mostly a flat, low-lying swampy basin crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. The region contains the world’s third largest wetland with an extensive freshwater swamp forest. Because of its challenging topography, the region’s population tends to gather in small communities. Of the estimated 13,000+ settlements in the region, 94% are thought to contain less than 5,000 people.
The Niger Delta region is extremely heterogeneous in terms of culture and ethnicity. Although trade and interaction among groups has long been common, industrialization in the region has exacerbated ethnic conflicts among the many linguistic, ethnic, and cultural groupings.
Infrastructure and social services in the region are limited and this contributes to tensions among different communities. Research by the United Nations indicates that while the region’s Human Development Index is slightly better than the rest of Nigeria, it remains among the lowest in global terms.
The Niger River has been a focal point for the development of African civilizations. Today, the river continues to play a key role in the region, serving as a source of livelihood for many West African farmers, fishers, and herders, as a transportation route in areas that are otherwise poorly connected, and as a source of energy.
But the river also serves as an example of the developing world’s challenging characteristics. Although it is a source of great wealth, the large majority of its inhabitants are poor and do not benefit from the wealth produced in this region.
There are major development challenges facing the region including conflicts among communities for resources, between communities and elements of the petroleum industry, and the lack of relevant economic and other social development data on the region.
PIND Foundation’s programs are designed to ease some of these challenges faced by the Niger Delta populations:
- An economic development program focused on generating opportunities for pro-poor market development and employment generation.
- A capacity building program that will build the service delivery and engagement capacity of government, civil society and communities.
- A peace-building program that strengthens conflict resolution mechanisms for enabling integrated peace and economic growth.
- An analysis & advocacy program that improves analysis and understanding of systemic constraints to growth in the Niger Delta region.
Given the limited impact of many past development efforts, these ambitious goals will require new approaches and unorthodox partnerships to improve the living standards of people of the Niger Delta Region.