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 DELTA STATE
 

Although rich in crude oil and natural gas, a large area of the Delta- region  is made up of wetland, freshwater swamp forests, lowland rain forests and coastal sand ridge barriers. It has been suggested that about 75% of the Delta is riverine. Many communities experience “flooding” during the rainy seasons while others face constant fears of being swept into sea.

The discovery of crude oil in the region has had adverse environmental impact on the environment and therefore the lives of the people of the region. As people whose means of livelihood is fish and vegetable farming, the destruction of the environment through exploration of oil without “due care” has meant that the region has been exposed to “slow death” over 50 years.

The river has been greatly polluted as chemical waste and other hazardous waste is constantly dumped. On Shell Nigeria’s own admission, “…and also improve operational practices environmentally, by stopping disposal of produced effluent water into the Warri river”….

There are constant oil spillages due predominantly to ageing pipes laid above ground under intense heat from the sun. There is inadequate or no maintenance of these pipes. Rather than modernise operational methods to protect lives and the environment, the Multinational Companied depend on their “hard line posture” claiming that oil spillages are occurring due to the people’s sabotage of Companies equipments. The Companies rarely take responsibility for oil spillages and thereby refuse to clean up spillages and or, compensate communities affected.

I argue that unless a responsible government is installed, the Multinational Companies will not take their social responsibility seriously as such, hostility between the Oil Companies and the oil producing communities of Delta State and the Niger Delta will not be resolved.

Since 1999, there has been military presence in the State, this further worsen security as a significant number of the military personnel use their military might to extort money from the population. For example, a refusal to give twenty Naira (an equivalent of 20 pence) sometimes leads to death.

A significant number of our children are street traders some of whom are homeless.

The level of illiteracy is abnormally high, as lack of economic power means that parents are cannot afford to send their children to school.

Ritual killing is also rift as those in political power rely on voodoo power to hang on to political power. There is no constant electricity supply and there is no pipe borne water supply.

There is a general sense of insecurity and frustration as the high rate of unemployment absolute poverty and the proliferation of small arms have combined to create a growing number of youths going on armed robbery, paid assassinations, political thuggery and other dangerous vices.



     
 
 
 

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