Orish Ebere Orisakwe

Protecting drinking-water resources is a key factor in preventing health effects: waterborne disease might claim both infectious and toxic exposure, thus contributing the onset of severe diseases. In Nigeria it is estimated that water supply and sanitation cover only 48% of the inhabitants of the urban and semi urban areas and 39% of rural areas. In particular, the Niger Delta region constitutes one of the larger wetlands in the world; this area has environmental relevance for the abundance and variety of its flora and fauna, but is also an area highly exposed to degradation due to its economical worth attributable to numerous industrial activities, the most important of them being crude oil and natural gas extraction often scantly sustainable from the point of view of environment and health. Even though the assessment of water is worldwide acknowledged as very crucial to safeguard public health and the environment, in developing nation like Nigeria, however, such attention is scanty and uncoordinated, if ever found. Gas flaring constitutes a major source of water pollution in the oil producing area of  Niger Delta.  With unmitigated environmental degradation many have resorted to consumption of harvested rainwater from corroded zinc, aluminum and thatch roofs(see photo) ignorant of the health effects of acid rain. The Nigerian government has been urged to declare the oil-rich Niger Delta a disaster zone and deploy an emergency water supply network immediately to the area to develop the nation’s vast surface and groundwater resources.
What is undoubted is the huge need for immediate collective intervention to face the safe water supply deficiency in the Niger Delta and the unfair distribution of wealth. Social development and environmental protection should actually be part of the long-term benefits rendered to the communities. Social justice re-establishment is the only chance to see lasting peace and harmony in this region, which has been restive for over a decade with attendant economic backlash both on the people and Nigeria as a whole.

First input:

June, 11, 2010


Last Update:

Jan, 24, 2017

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