Microsoft News grantees publish investigative report

“Any young man who wants to stay here will definitely not see tomorrow.”

At a time when science reporting on community health is more crucial than ever, Kelechukwu Iruoma of Ripples Nigeria and Ruth Olurounbi of Per Second News have published their investigative report on the devastating effects of oil spills on Nigeria’s Ogoniland, a region in the Niger Delta.

Their project was among four funded through a grant training partnership between the International Center for Journalists and Microsoft News.

Kelechukwu Iruoma, a fisherman and Ruth Olorounbi. The fisherman is soaked in crude oil from the river in Goi (Credit: Ile Omoru)

The months-long investigation involved a partnership with lab scientists to analyze blood samples from 50 community volunteers — including the 60-year-old man who, upon learning of the effects of environmental pollution on his health, delivered that foreboding statement about his community’s survival. Iruoma and Olurounbi also conducted extensive interviews with community members, health organizations, government agencies and global businesses to cover all sides of the story.

We’re proud to have supported these grantees’ ambitions. Read their story here. To see profiles of all the ICFJ grantees, go to Microsoft Stories.

Vera H-C Chan is senior editor, worldwide journalist relations, with Microsoft News Labs.