In Nigeria, the oil industry is considered to be the largest sector and main generator of GDP in Africa’s most populous nation. Its economic benefits are countless, but all in all, oil spill in Nigeria is a common occurrence. It has been estimated that between 9 million to 13 million barrels have been spilt since oil drilling started in the country in 1958. The government estimates that about 7,000 spills occurred between 1970 and 2000.
Oil spill can be of two different categories – the land spillage and the aquatic spillage – but they all have a negative impact on both the environment and the society in general. In this article, we’ve listed 10 horrible effects of Nigeria oil spill, hopefully, you’ll find it not just interesting but educating.
1. Human Health Risk
As much as it is sad to say or admit, a lot of people have suffered as a result of oil spillage in many different ways. Particularly, people who live near the banks of the Niger Delta are prone to these risks than any other. Oil definitely poisons the water and considering that people living there are mostly farmers that depend on it for their daily livelihood, it ends up affecting them health wise. As much as oil brings many benefits, the risks it poses to human life is devastating.
2. Damage To The Ecosystem
The impacts of oil pollution on the marine ecosystem can be categorized into long-term and short-term effects. Suffocation caused by oil spills and oil poisoning are among the first group. Oil spills reduce oxygen absorption of the water, causing oxygen dissolution under oil spills to be even less than the deep sea levels. The oil penetrates and opens up the structure of the plumage of birds, reducing its insulating ability, and so making the birds more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water. It also impairs birds’ flight abilities, making it difficult or impossible to forage and escape from predators.
3. Health Hazard To The Aquatic Animals
We all understand what the marine nature offers to our society. Oil spillage causes so much damage to the aquatic animals. The spillage poisons the water and eventually leads to death of the animals that come to contact with the area affected by it.
4. Risk To Food Security
With poverty looming in some parts of the country, the oil spillage is making the situation even more critical. The spillages that occur on lands cause damage to the plants, poisons the soil and leads to poor farm produce which should be among the major source of foodstuff in the country.
5. Loss Of Aquatic Plants
There are several plants that play a very important role in the water bodies. The oil spillages sometimes get to the bottom and cause more harm to the aqua life. Some of the plants act as food to other species of aquatic animals. This generally leads to other poisonings that affect the entire ecosystem.
6. Depletion Of Fish Population
Fish has a special place in nature’s food chain, especially to humans. Considering the nutritional value of fish to the humans, playing a role in their depletion in a wasteful manner is the most unfortunate thing. Fishing is also one of the most profitable industries; taking good care not to destroy them has much more benefits to the society.
7. A Danger To The Wildlife In General
Wildlife is one of the major tourist attractions of the country, the wildlife should always be protected at all cost. Unfortunately, oil spillage plays a big role in destroying the wildlife. As the oil spillage poisons the water, most of the wildlife is affected as they all depend on it.
8. Pollutes The Air Leading To Other Illness.
It is known that oil has chemical gas that can get mixed up with the air we breathe. There are several cases reported that link to these chemicals. This effect can be fatal to individuals who are exposed to these chemicals.
9. Acid Rain
Acid rain is also another factor as the rainwater becomes corrosive and also pollutes the remaining water sources. This also affects the plants and soil in general. Acidic soil affects the plants negatively, plants don’t get enough nutrients leading to poor production.
Poverty is a state that exists to be fought at all times and it can only be achieved with concentration. The major problem is that the oil spillage diverts money that would have been used to help eradicate poverty to other users like treating the affected areas.
It is unfortunate to say that most of these spillages which are sometimes termed as accidents are due to human error. Companies in such matters should always treat this matter as very important and make an important step to deal with it. It is important to ensure that the future of the next generation is safeguarded, we should all take this as a challenge and deal with this issue on a personal level or else it will come to haunt us in the near future.