Oil exploration activities threaten to pollute communities in Nigeria

Aug 05, 2001 02:00 AM

Unless the Nigerian government takes the appropriate measures, communities in Nigeria's southern state of Ondo would witness an outbreak of water-borne epidemic due to the contamination of their fresh water sources by oil exploration activities. The report quoted Sola Ebiseni, Ondo State Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, as saying that in the oil rich coastal area of the state, all the fresh water creeks had been polluted by oil spills.
The pollution of the fresh water creeks is so much that people themselves today have no water to drink. The irony of it is that people live from the water and have no water to drink, Ebiseni lamented.
Because certain species of fish have moved into the deep sea due to unfavourable environmental conditions along the coast, fishing which is mainstay of the economy of the people is no longer practicable, he said. Describing the area as "an environmental disaster", Ebiseni assured that the Ondo State government is making efforts to reverse the trend, saying that it has engaged the services of experts to tackle the problem of coastal pollution and erosion in the state.

Nigeria is the biggest oil producer in Africa with a daily output of some 2.4 mm barrels. But almost three-quarters of the production is made by West oil companies operating in the West African country. However, oil spills have become a common scene in Nigeria's oil producing areas as the result of mismanagement of the operations by the West oil companies and frequent vandalisation of oil pipes by the local residents.
Due to the pollution of the environment which is compounded by oil exploration in the area, seven out of every 10 persons living in the oil rich coastal area of the state have left their hometowns.

Source: Xinhua via Newspage
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