IN NIGERIA'S NIGER DELTA
PSYCHO-MORPHOLOGICAL & EMPIRICAL OVERVIEW
DR. E. A. AKPOFURE
CHIEF M. L. EFERE
DR. PROSPER AYAWEI
This report was undertaken by a consortium of voluntary professionals
from (1) INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF IMPACT ASSESSMENT. (2) OPULENCE
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES LTD. & (3) PSYCHO-MORPHOLOGICAL LEARNING EXCHANGE
This report was limited to selected impact sites from Akwa Ibom State, Rivers and Bayelsa States because of fund even though we intend to cover the whole Niger Delta Area, embarking on more detailed post impact Assessment, as the Lord provides the needed support through all friends of the Niger Delta Region around the Globe, we are also ready to undertake this type of assessment in any country willing to do so.
It is very obvious that the Niger Delta Area can be developed, if there is the will to do so. it is a great discovery that the creator of the universe and equity does not make mistake and never does anything in vain. He has graciously blessed the difficult terrain and abnormal Niger Delta environment with counter balanced rich natural resources like the Crude Oil, several Natural Gases, Vegetation, Fishes, wildlife etc.
The tripartite collaboration to embark on the painstaking and grass root post impact assessment of the unsafe condition posed by the several uncompensated spills was occasioned by the assorted complains, consultation and pleas from numerous families, towns, villages, clans and Local Government Areas in the Niger Delta expanse demanding us to undertake a comprehensive and highly professional post impact Assessment to establish the quantum of damage sufficient to induce compensation to the affected people, families, villages, clan etc and send these facts to appropriate quarters both local and international for possible assistance.
In compliance with the letters received from these impacted victims, and some time with further consultation and deliberation with the relevant, family Heads, Chiefs and in some cases with Local Government Authorities, we visited the various selected sites mapped out for the Post Impact Assessment, where we assembled all relevant data, samples and psychological interviews.
Most of the time we sent our findings to the companies and Government Authorities for action but nothing was done, especially in the past regime. The sites were selected from three States namely, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa out of the nine Niger Delta States. We hope to progress to more states, when the means are available.
It is surprising to note that, most places we went, the extent of damage on the biodiversity, Vegetation, Psycho-Socio-Physio-Economic integrity of the victims were sincerely beyond human description. It would have been self explanatory for all and sundry to see things for themselves, to appreciate the magnitude of damage from what was most of the times claimed to be a localized rupture/blow out or effluent discharge yet having a great effect on the victims, because of gross negligence of the immediately needed containment exercise and worst of all the nonchalant attitude of most oil companies and the appropriate Government Authorities in seeing to the plight of the victims.
These actions of the companies and sometimes the Government lead to frustration and incessant conflicts, crises and high youth restiveness in the region.
It is important at this time to highlight the feeling of some of the youths we interviewed expressing the following words, "It becomes provocative when it is remembered that in spite of all the barrels of crude oil that are bunkered and liquidified natural gas lifted everyday to make oil companies and their associates affluent, the producing communities are perpetually left by the stake holders in abject poverty."
In addition they said that "our sources of livelihood are devastated; no fish in the water; poor harvest in farming seasons and the like, yet no roads, good schools, reasonable contracts and adequate scholarships to the indigenes, our roofs are corroding fast, so that we live in the rain."
Another elite on interview said that "the Niger Delta Region is rapidly undergoing consequences of oil exploitation without a future, owing to the facts of the:
(a) Destabilization of the natural state of the soil through oil exploration.
(b) Pollution of surface and ground water due to the application of chemical fertilizers and indiscriminate dumping of municipal waste.
(c) Destruction of primary forests,
known habitats of several fauna and flora, which form nature's primary
food chain. The multiple pollution on the waterways and vegetations is
a concrete set back which leads to various short, medium and long-term
1.2 Basis For Assessment, Inspection/Valuation
The basic issue that compels a report like this is the possibility to ensure more cost effective and participatory programmes in the Niger Delta region and community development, and to progressively reduce social tension and conflict in the region. Therefore, we are advocating the integrated bottom-up approach that will secure the people's quality of life while simultaneously protecting the environment, is undoubtedly the sure path to peace and productive enterprise in the region. We further stressed that Niger Delta terrain cannot be drastically transformed without a new orientation and directions. MULTI-NATIONAL OIL COMPANIES are non-challant over the agonies and pains of the people of Niger Delta and the undue attention by MULTI-NATIONAL OIL COMPANIES over the issue for a long period of time led to wide spread of crude spill/pollution on the Niger Delta Region.
Summary Of Basis for Assessment
1. To ascertain the extent of impacted area
2. To ascertain and establish the extent of damages to ponds, stream, crops, economics trees etc.
3. To quantify indirect loses including health, air pollution and social effects in monetary terms.
4. To help facilitate any verification
exercise where this work could serve as ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINES STUDIES
(EBS) of the impacted area.
Apart from any other specific assumption made in this report, we have further assumed the following:
a) That all information supplied to us are correct, data, samples and opinions gathered are reasonably good.
(b) That all pointers and/or community representatives are the right persons
(c) That all letters, e-mails, memos, communiqués received are from the right persons, and also signed by the supposed persons.
(d) That even though there was no documentary
evidence (certificate of oath) supplied for the claim of title of property,
but by one independent injury and investigation we believe and assume that
the legitimate right to ownership of property belongs to the respective
clans, communities, families assessment in this report.
(f) Even though there were no direct questionnaires supplied by us on
the spot due to logistics problems, however basic observations, personal
and group interviews, water and soil tests were taken, believing that our
results through these methods are true and moderately good for ease of
reference and global apologetics.
PROCEED TO ADVERSE EFFECTS
OF OIL SPILLS IN THE NIGER DELTA
(f) Even though there were no direct questionnaires supplied by us on the spot due to logistics problems, however basic observations, personal and group interviews, water and soil tests were taken, believing that our results through these methods are true and moderately good for ease of reference and global apologetics.
PROCEED TO ADVERSE EFFECTS OF OIL SPILLS IN THE NIGER DELTA