Nigeria has recorded 4,919 oil spills in the last six years in the Niger Delta, making the region highly susceptible to climate change, Holly-Anna Petersen of Christian Climate Action, has stated
Petersen, in a report made available in Abuja, explained that the region, especially Ogoniland, has been devastated by fossil fuel company operations, causing it to be one of the top ten most polluted places on earth now.
She said: “There are over 500 oil fields in the Niger Delta and 131 gas flaring sites operated by multinationals, such as Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron. He also said the activities had led to loss of biodiversity over the years.
“The systematic failure of oil companies and the Nigerian government to clean up has left thousands of Ogoni people facing serious health risks, struggling to access safe drinking water and unable to earn a living.”
She further stated that communities have had to relocate, leading to loss of ancestral homes, pollution of fresh water, loss of forest and agricultural land, which 31 million people had relied on for livelihoods.
“The extent of health risks facing Ogoni communities can be seen by the fact that they are forced to consume water with high level of benzene that is about 900 times above World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable levels.”
According to her, a three-day Niger Delta Climate Change Conference from July 10 to 12 is being organized to bring together different groups, experts and researchers, activists, frontline and marginalised communities affected by fossil fuel projects in Ogoni and the region.