The Slow Poisoning Of The Niger Delta Is Caused By Pilfering And Sabotage Of Oil

The Slow Poisoning Of The Niger Delta Is Caused By Pilfering And Sabotage Of Oil.
Decades of single-minded exploitation by global oil firms has led to the gradual and conscious poisoning of water and land, impacting the health of the thousands inhabiting the region.
But the issues of the environmental devastation of the Niger Delta are not simply a matter of water pollution or aesthetic tarnishing of bodies of water.
Decades after perpetration, our children will be left an inheritance of hampered industrial activity, a hazardous ecosystem, and the inevitable loss of human lives, which is currently estimated to be around 1,000 souls annually purely as a result of explosions and the uncontrolled outbreak of fires.
The dangerous concentrations of benzene found in drinking water in the region are nothing compared to the innumerable cases of water where levels of hydrocarbons are more than 1,000 times the level permitted by national drinking water standards.
However, what has been met with true dismay by local communities and the international community alike, is that in many cases contamination has been as a result of spillages of decades ago.
But the main causes of oil spillages today are sabotage and theft.
And whilst increased security and protection around oil sites can play their part in protecting against the bunkering of oil, international oil firms are creating another false economy if they believe that this truly constitutes proper prevention.
True prevention requires firms to engage with local communities and divert the development of militancy.
If over half the oil spillages in the Niger Delta are caused by sabotage, then it is imperative for the future of the industry in Africa that international companies enlist the expertise of Nigerian firms to understand how they can better engage with the communities in which they operate and change the economics of industrial expansion to ensure communities enjoy the proceeds of growth.

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