Environmental Degradation in Oil Producing Areas of Niger Delta Region, Nigeria: the Need for Sustainable Development
Due to oil exploration and other human activities in the Niger Delta region, there is evidence of environmental degradation all over the area (Oronto, 1998). Environmental degradation is occasioned by consistent flow of industrial waste, oil spills, gas flares, fire disaster, acid rain, flooding erosion, etc., which has led to the pollution of farmlands and fishponds. It has also led to the destruction of properties and human lives, including aquatic and bio-diversity. This paper reviewed environmental degradation in oil producing areas of Niger Delta Region, in the context of the patterns, causes and effects of such degradation. It also considered environmental issues such as soil erosion, flooding, oil spillage, gas flaring and how they affect development needs of the people in the region. Policy options for upgrading the degraded environment such as stoppage of oil spillage and gas flaring, flooding, pollution and erosion, etc, were also suggested.
Key words: Environment, Degradation, Sustainable, Development, Niger Delta.