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OSLO (Norway): The Rafto Prize, a Norwegian human rights award, was awarded to Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey on Thursday for his campaigning on behalf of victims of climate change and environmental damage.

“Nnimmo Bassey links human rights to the climate by demonstrating how climate change has the greatest effect on the world’s most vulnerable people, the very people who have contributed least to the problem in the first place,” the Rafto Foundation said.

Heading up several environmental organisations, 54-year-old Bassey has been a vocal champion of the rights of people in the Niger Delta, a region heavily polluted by oil production. Life expectancy in the area is only 41 years, compared with 48 years in the rest of Nigeria, the foundation noted. “Africa needs soil, not oil,” Bassey was quoted as saying in a statement.—AFP

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