UN agency launches assessment of oil-contaminated region in Nigeria

30 November 2009

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched an assessment of the impact of contamination from oil across the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, which has been plagued by local unrest and ecological damage in recent years.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched an assessment of the impact of contamination from oil across the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, which has been plagued by local unrest and ecological damage in recent years.

The $9.5 million assessment, which will be jointly carried out by UNEP and the Governor of Nigeria’s Rivers state following a request from the Nigerian Government, is expected to last a year.

The findings that emerge from the assessment will be used as the basis of recommendations on how to rehabilitate the land so that it meets international standards of environment acceptability, according to a press release issued today by UNEP.

Oil exploration and production has been conducted in the Niger Delta since the 1950s but many of the operations have been suspended since the early 1990s because of local unrest, and the oil fields and installations of the region known as Ogoniland have been dormant.

In that period there has been only partial efforts to remedy the contamination from oil production, and further spills as a result of a lack of maintenance, oil tapping and damage to infrastructure have occurred in the past 15 years.

 

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