183 A systematic review of the impacts of oil spillage on residents of oil-producing communities in Nigeria

Ezeh C.C., Onyema V.O., Obi C.J., Moneke A.N. (2024) Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 31 (24), pp. 34761 – 34786,  DOI: 10.1007/s11356-024-33468-7

ABSTRACT: Oil spillage is common in oil-producing communities of Nigeria, and it impacts negatively on the residents of these communities. This study analysed available research data on oil spillage incidents in these communities to determine their main causes and impacts on the residents. This study highlights the immediate and long-term consequences of oil spills on residents of oil-host communities in Nigeria. A systematic review of published studies was carried out, and 22 studies were identified from the literature search. The main causes of oil spills were identified as sabotage (87%), leakage from corroded pipelines (62%), and equipment failure (45%). Others were mystery spills and operational failures. Unemployment, abject poverty, marginalization, and inaction of government regulatory agencies are enabling factors for sabotage and vandalism of oil pipelines. It was found that exposure to oil spills impacts directly and indirectly on residents of oil-host communities, with accompanying health, socioeconomic, and environmental implications. Oil spills in these communities impact on all facets of their life, thereby infringing on their rights to existence and survival. The major interventions were targeted at improving health services, education, infrastructure, skill acquisition, and employment. These in turn reduced the occurrence of violence, insurgency, and human trafficking in the oil-producing communities. It is recommended that government regulatory agencies should be revamped and repositioned to effectively perform their duties. Interventions should be targeted at addressing the causes of agitation by indigenes by involving them in the decision-making process. Also, appropriate remediation strategies should be adopted to clean up the oil spills.

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