Effect of oil spills and gas flaring on agriculture and environment: A case of crop farmers in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria (2000 – 2022)

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Effect of oil spills and gas flaring on agriculture and environment: A case of crop farmers in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria (2000 – 2022)

Ude Kingsley David, Enwa Sarah, Oyita Governor Ekene, Nwoke Hyacinth Ude
Int. J. Biosci.22( 3), 30-50, March 2023.
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Abstract

Specifically, the study identified the major source of employment and threats of oil pollution to livelihood sources in the Niger Delta, ascertained incidence of oil pollution, current causes of oil spills from a historical perspective and identified severely oil polluted sites and nature of incidences; evaluated crop farmer’s perception of the effect of gas flaring on their crops and ascertained major negative impacts of oil and gas activities on agriculture and environment. Simple random sampling was used in the selection of 837 crop farmers. Primary and secondary data sources were employed. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics such as Paired Sample T test was used to actualize the objectives and test the hypothesis respectively. Qualitative technique such as content analysis was also employed. The findings revealed that majority (46.2%) of the working population engaged in agriculture, 20.0% engaged in trade, 5.2% engaged in fishing while 5.3% were of the educational sector. The threats of oil pollution to livelihood sources in the Niger Delta revealed 47.9%, 30.3% and 21.7% of crop farmers threat to be physical and economic threats, social threats and political threats respectively. The average number of oil spills is 186.5 while the quantity of oil spilled is 48346.5 barrels, quantity recovered was 3327.6 barrels while quantity loss to the environment is 45,018.9 barrels within the period. The paired t test result showed that there is no significant difference in the quantity of oil spilled and the quantity loss to the environment. The major causes of oil spills viz: blow-out (3.87), Pipeline corrosion (3.77), Equipment failure (3.65) and Sabotage (3.61). The result also showed that Bayelsa, Delta and River states had the most affected sites, and that forest water swamps were more impacted as well as the mangrove forest majorly as a result of oil spillage incidences. Gas flaring affected crop farmers yield. The result shows that the negative impact of oil and gas flaring activities as destruction of farming and fishing implements (72.0%), low productivity (69.0%) and degradation of fishing and farming sites (68.0%) as majority (78.0%) of crop farmers reported the government and oil companies doing nothing to address the impact of oil and gas activities on agriculture and environment. The study recommended the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as an operational tool in ascertaining Information on the exact position and size of the oil spill.

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