1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Niger-Delta region of Nigeria coincides approximately to the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The region is the most blessed deltas in the globe, in human, material and natural resources but the unfavorable manner in which these resources are harnessed overtime, is the bane of the regions predicament. Before the discovery of crude oil, agriculture was the major occupation of the people of this region. Crude oil was first discovered in commercial or large quantity in the region specifically in the present Bayelsa State in 1956 (Omofonmwa and Odia, 2009). Since then oil exploration and Operations has continued resulting into what is termed environmental pollution and destruction due to neglect and less concern of the multinational companies in environmental management in the area. The SOIL degradation resulting from oil and gas production and exploration in the Niger-Delta ,specifically obagi community in Rivers state, has attracted the interest of environmentalists and other experts, who look at the region within the larger context of globalization (UNDP Report, 2006). The world today recognizes the significance of environmental and soil sustainability to the development of the world nations. In fact one of the cardinal goal and objectives of the Millennium Development Goal is to ensure environmental sustainability. It then opines that there should be reduction in soil degradation.
The aim of soil sustainability cannot be overemphasized in the Niger-Delta as this is fundamental to the overall wellbeing and the development of the Niger deltas and the world at large especially the wellbeing of future generation which is an important aspect of environmental management. The Niger-Delta region is dominated by rural communities which obagi inclusive that depends majorly on the natural environment for subsistence living. More than eighty percent of the people depend on natural environment (such as faming etc) for living and nonliving livelihood (UNDP Report, 2006). Low income earners or poor people are vulnerable to environmental dynamics because social, political and economic exclusion indicates they are left with few choices about where they live (Aluko, 2004). Hence, they bear the major effects of natural hazards, biodiversity loss and forest depletion, all kinds of pollution and the negative impact of industrialization vis-à-vis oil exploration and operation. Soil degradation issues are of topical concern to communities in the Niger-Delta as it is a major cause of productivity losses and loss of lives and properties (Opukri and Ibaba, 2008).
This is the key reason why crude oil production impact on the Niger-Delta cannot be overemphasized as the dominant view blames the oil explorations and its attendant consequences for the declining productivity of the region which is predominantly based on fishing and other agricultural activities as farming, dealing in timber or wood businesses, etc. (Okoko, 1998, Aaron, 2006; Opukri and Ibaba, 2008). It is no doubt to say that oil exploration has worsened soil degradation in the region. The elasticity of soil degradation with respect to oil operation is elastic in the region every day and this is well known by the government and globally. These include among others degradation of the forests, soil and depletion of aquatic fauna. The long-term effects are also possible, as in cases where mangrove swamps and groundwater are harmed. The issue of oil induced environmental disaster on the soil and its numerous effects are devastating in the region.
Opukri and Ibaba (2008) in their study on oil induced soil degradation in the region and conclude that it results into internal population displacement and low standard of living because oil exploration has a negative impact on the land which is being used for agricultural purposes. They adopted descriptive survey method of analysis using secondary data but it reflected only on one of the social effects of these activities on the people of Niger-Delta. Aluko (2004) soil degradation and its impact on the Niger-Delta region used primary data sourced from thirteen communities in the area employed descriptive analysis. He concludes that oil exploration activities in the region leading to soildegradation are responsible for the high degree of poverty in the area. This study was based on one of the economic effects of soil degradation.
Crude-oil operations has frequented the alluvial soils of the coastal plains of the obagi wet soils in Rivers State, Nigeria and deprived the communities of their socioeconomic livelihood. This, in turn, has fostered hostility towards the oil companies when neither the government nor the oil companies acted quickly to accommodate or alleviate effect of the degradation (Aghalino, 2000). Consequently, remedial action (apart from the occasional financial compensation) should have been undertaken to solve the ecological degradation that created economic distress on their agricultural livelihood. Daniel-Kalio and Pepple, 2006). However, the present research considers the tributary swamps of the wetsoils of shallow insoil rivers where local technical skill in controlling pollution is still lacking). Overall, oil operations affected crop yield and farm income, and by extension, the social and economic livelihoods of farming communities (Odjuvwuederhie et al., 2006; Chinda and Braide, 2000; Atubi and Onokala, 2000)
The oil firm is the main sustenance of Nigerian economy and at the same time a major source of soil Degradation in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. Oil operations on soil destroy soil fertility, hamper proper plant growth and destroy beneficial soil microbes which lead to poor soil quality. Ofomata (1997), Imevbore (1973) and Oguntoyimbo (1979) outlined a number of oil operations contamination problems affecting some Nigerian towns. Most of the oil operation’s cases involves accidental oil blowouts seepages and deliberate flushing activities which leaves a thick layer of crude oil over soil, vegetation and water surfaces in obagi community. The environmental effect of such blow-out is serious on soils and vegetation on which rural livelihoods depend on. Cases of local oil pollution occurs as a result of improper handling, miss management or mishaps such as burst pipes in places like Bonny, Okirika, Okwuzi, Obagi, Bori, Obirikom all in Rivers State, Nigeria (Ogbonna, 1981). Some of the farmers in these areas have been forced to give up their farm lands which was been used for cultivation crops, this has serious effect on food production and livelihoods of the people in these areas.
Plants germinate, develop and grow in soil medium where water, air and nutrient resources supply plants for healthy and good growth for productive and profitable agriculture. Frequent crude-oil operation’s on agricultural soils, and the consequent fouling effect on all forms of life, render the soil (especially the biologically active surface layer) toxic and unproductive. Crude oil reduces the soil’s fertility such that most of the essential nutrients are no longer available for plant and crop utilization and growth (Abii and Nwosu, 2009).
The enormity of toxicity by oil operations and exploration on soil performance is exemplified in mangrove vegetation, which has been dying off in recent years (Henry and Heinke, 2005). Crude-oil predations effect which is denser than water reduces and restricts permeability, organic hydrocarbons which fill the soil pores expel water and air, thus depriving the plant roots the much needed water and air etc (Brian, 1977).
1,2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Exploration and production of hydrocarbon in the form of crude oil or natural gas has been the source of revenue generation for some countries in the various continents on our planet earth. Though this commercial entity can be said to be a blessing to any nation that produces it, nonetheless it has diverse environmental challenges that can also be called a curse in disguise if proper measures are not put in place to handle them on time. The environmental problems which includes soil degradation such impacts of oil and gas production remains a contentious issue between oil-producing states, oil companies and governments in developing countries but less so in developed countries with oil resources and vibrant civil societies. This crude oil operation’s tend to have a negative impact on the on the soil or soil which has an impact on the economic life of the people of obagi community and the Niger delta region at large. This is because when crude oil operation’s affects the soil there is usually a low yield of crops and agricultural produce, at a long run this breeds poverty, low income etc in the affected areas. This study therefore is the assessment of soil Degradation due to crude oil operations in obagi community of Rivers state.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this work therefore is to study the assessment of soil Degradation due to crude oil operation’s in obagi community in rivers state. Other objectives of the study are:
1) To asses the level of crude oil operations in Obagi community.
2) To examine the impact of crude oil operations on soil degradation in Nigeria.
3) To evaluate other factors that influences soil degradation in Nigeria
4) To examine the relationship between soil degradation and crude oil operations.
5) To recommend solutions to soil Degradation in Rivers state.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) what is the level of crude oil exploration in Obagi community?
2) what is the impact of crude oil operations on soil degradation in Nigeria.
3) what are other factors that influences soil degradation in Nigeria?
4) what is the relationship between oil degradation and crude oil operations?
5) what are the solutions to soil Degradation in obagi community?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of crude oil operations on soil Degradation in Nigeria
H1: There is a significant impact of crude oil operations on soil degradation in Nigeria
HO: There is no significant relationship between crude oil operations and soil Degradation in obagi community
H1: There is a significant relationship between crude oil operations and soil Degradation in obagi community
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the Assessment of soil degradation due to crude oil operations in obagi community
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9DEFINITION OF TERMS
Crude oil operations: Processing/refining: Processing and refining operations turn crude oil and gas into marketable products. In the case of crude oil, these products include heating oil, gasoline for use in vehicles, jet fuel, and diesel oil. The fractionation process yields ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, and natural gasoline.
Soil Degradation: Soil degradation is the decline in soil condition caused by its improper use or poor management, usually for agricultural, industrial or urban purposes. It is a serious environmental problem. ... Avoiding soil degradation is crucial to our well-being.
Crude oil: Crude oil is a mixture of comparatively volatile liquid hydrocarbons (compounds composed mainly of hydrogen and carbon), though it also contains some nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. Those elements form a large variety of complex molecular structures, some of which cannot be readily identified.
Can't find what you are looking for? Hire A Researchproject Writer To Work On Your Topic or Call 0806-703-7559.
Proceed to Hire a Writer »