We Love Odi! 2008 Campaign

About Odi, Nigeria

Odi, a village on the Nun River in Bayelsa State of the Niger delta area in the federal republic of Nigeria had a pre-1999 population of 60,000 people as the second largest town in the state. It had boast of being the largest number of most educated people in the region.

Unfortunately, in the late 1999, a massive brigade of Nigerian army invaded this historic town with a mandate to fish out local bandits for a national crime.

Tragically, Odi was completely wiped out in less than a day. Only three buildings were saved -a church, a bank and a public health center.

Today, Odi remains underdeveloped, impoverish, highly and grossly unplanned. It is a region that is in desperate need of recovery.


Odi’s Sustainable Activities

Once the ecovillage will be running, the Living and Learning Center will be able to accommodate

  1. various trainings and workshops,

  2. ecotourism programs and housing,

  3. aquaculture,

  4. building services

  5. micro-credit loans

These activities will ensure Odi’s financial security.

Earth Rights Institute’s actions in Odi, Nigeria

Since 2004, Earth Rights Institute (ERI) has been one of the only nonprofits to send humanitarian aid to Nigeria. Even in 2007, when the ecovillage building was paralyzed by the political situation, ERI was able to continue helping the Odi’s community by sending books for the university and the school, as well as health material.

Earth Rights Institute is now very well known and respected by the people in the region, and in the country. Gordon Abiama, Director of the ecovillage and Francis Udisi, Program Coordinator, established direct relation with the local authorities and acquired their support for our work.

In late 2004, Earth Rights Institute started an eco-village in Odi to implement an eco-development and eco-restoration plan for the village to help eradicate poverty, reduce disparities in living conditions and manage development and the environment in a balanced and sustained manner.

Since then, the site has been cleaned and prepared for the buildings, the earth bricks and the tiles have been created and the ecovillage team organized the training for young people to do the actual building.

In 2007, due to the April national elections, the program got paralyzed for months and is now in stand-by. Today, the Odi ecovillage needs $15,000 to be able to continue the construction of the buildings and their equipment in electrical wirings, toilets facilities, water provisions, doors and tables, etc.


Earth Rights Institute Program Coordinators meet with Shell Foundation

Francis Udisi and Gordon Abiama met with representatives of the Shell Foundation in last March. Discussions are ongoing regarding Odi and a potential support from the Shell Foundation.

Mr. Francis Udisi with Mr. Ubaka Emelumandu, Director for Sustainable Community Development at Shell Nigeria Limited in Warri - March 24th, 2008.

Mr. Francis Kabiowei Udisi, Mr. Ubaka Emelumadu and Mr. Gordon Abiama.

Music and Food for Odi!

Singer Renée Herman, in partnership with ERI, organizes a fundraiser for Odi on June 8th at 7 pm in Culver City, CA. Join us for great music and African food at the Industry Café & Jazz!

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