How has oil pollution affected water and life in the Niger River Delta?

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I studied water pollution in the Niger River Delta in Nigeria. 40 million liters of oil across the Niger Delta are being spilled every year. This is a major problem because the Niger Delta is the main source of water for tons of communities in Nigeria, and the delta is inhabited by around 25 million people. The thick black oil makes everything black and rot. This oil is contaminating land and water, which is leading to serious health issues for residents and animals in the water. This creates an issue for farmers and fishermen, contaminating diverse ecosystems, crops, and aquatic environments. Many fisherman can’t catch fish because the oil is destroying their fishing nets and lines. Two of the biggest contributors to the oil spills are Shell and Ani, leaking thick black oil destroying people’s homes and way of life. Shell and Ani need to pay for their mistakes and clean up their leaks and spills. But it’s not only Shell and Ani, another main reason is theft, sabotage, and pipeline corrosion creating these spills. The people of Nigeria have made it clear that the government needs to tighten the penalties for oil pollution before it becomes too late.

“The Niger delta is one of the most polluted places on earth”


Unfortunately there is no concrete solution to this issue, that’s why it makes it so hard to fix. Many authors through research believe that awareness is the best way to solve this problem because it makes people care. Currently, in 2021 nothing has changed about the oil production and spills. Lack of education and jobs increases the job growth of illegal refineries. The problem starts at the education level with lack of jobs and people striving for ways to make money. The best way to solve this problem is to drive for better handling of oil, which would help reduce the amount of pollution in the water. If we can get attention by the greater community, it will help reduce the amount of pollution leading to healthier residents and a healthier environment.


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1 comment

  1. Hey Stephanie!

    This a great project! Not only do I live in Nigeria, but I am actually half Nigerian to it’s really nice to see you spreading awareness about this, it is greatly appreciated. I could see the amount of effort you put into it, and you can really tell you did a lot of research which is amazing!
    Great work!

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