Which are the major environmental sanitation problems in Nigeria? Are they being solved? Read the article to find out!
Oil spills, desertification and loss of natural habitat are all the main reasons of Nigeria’s environmental sanitation very challenging condition.
Over 70 percent of the people of the Niger Delta depend on natural resources. Most of them are fishermen and farmers. In 2011, the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) documented the consequences of oil pollution in Ogoniland, one part of the delta severely damaged by spills.
UNEP stated that people in Ogoniland have been living with chronic pollution for all their lives. They found benzene levels 900 times higher than the World Health Organization standarts. And they found oil in the soil five meters below the surface.
The worst offenders of the Niger Delta are the oil companies Shell and ENI. These companies report more than 600 spills each year. They claim quick and proper response to the spills, but the UNEP report shows that this is not the reality.
More than 65 percent of Nigerians live from nature and its goods. For example, farming, fisheries, logging and manufacturing. 70-80 percent of Nigerians forests have disappeared through logging, agriculture, city expansion, expansion of roads and building of industry.
Many plants depending on these forests have been lost. With the expected consequences of climate change, and nowadays these losses are likely to increase.
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Desertification is a major problem in Nigeria, made worse by massive water impoundment and irrigation schemes. Estimates say that Nigeria is losing 0.6 kilometers of land to desertification each year.
In Northern Nigeria, trees are felled for fuelwood, and land becomes barren; desertification has become a major issue. The ecosystem services, which trees bring to the landscape, are vital for protecting soils in times of drought. The high cost of modern cooking fuels such as gas and lack of access to alternative, efficient fuel cooking stoves means that many local communities do not have any options.
As you can, environmental issues in Nigeria are not a joke and it’s not one of these problems which can be fixed in a year or two. A long and wise actions should be taken by the authorities and the people of Nigeria to fight them and keep the ecology clean.