SOCIOECONOMIC EFFECTS OF OIL SPILLAGE FROM OGUTA FLOW STATION UMURODOGWUM, OGUTA COMMUNITY, IMO STATE, NIGERIA

Author: Ozoh Kingsley Chidiebere
Department: Environmental Management
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This research examines the physicochemical properties of the soil and socioeconomic conditions of Umuorodogwum Oguta Autonomous Community, Imo State two years after the 2010 Oguta Flow Station Oil Spill. The ecological significance framework was used in order to address this topic. Water quality, soil properties and vegetation were examined in terms of their physical, chemical and biological contents (productivity).the water samples were collected from 2 different sites. Site A(point 1: water source; point 2: middle part of the river; point 3: mouth of the river) while site B(3 points of a river from an adjoining environment where there is no oil spill, which was used as the control)using grab sampling method.The soil samples were equally collected from 2 different sites, viz;site A (3 points from the site of oil spill) while site B (3 points from an adjoining environment where there is no oil spill) using grab sampling method. Vegetation was equally studied. Leaf samples were collected from 2 different sites: site A (1 cultivated plant (cassava) and 1 naturally growing herb (Aspila sp.) from the oil spill site) while site B (1 cultivated plant (cassava) and 1 naturally growing herb (Aspila sp.) from an adjoining environment where there is no spill). The work equally determined the socio-economic impacts of the 2010 Oil Spill, 2yrs after the spill in terms of recreational activities, market values of product and general health status of the community, using information culled from questionnaire. A total of 120 copies of the questionnaire were distributed to each of the randomly selected households and through purposive sampling in the community. Sample collection, questionnaire distribution and collection took a period of two months. Analysis of data further shows that there is a significant relationship between the general health of the indigenes and the 2010 oil spill in the area. The bio-accumulation of residual petroleum hydrocarbons in sediments and some plants (leaves), coupled with the water quality parameters for clean water, two years after the spill reveal that the effects of the 2010 oil spill are still felt till date. Results obtained showed that the 2010 Oil Spill in this community negatively impacted the soil significantly in terms of soil productive capacity, cost of food, level of violent crime, youth restiveness and migration away from the area. Recommendations were made on the need for oil producing companies in Nigeria to adhere to international best practices in oil exploitation and should be more concerned and proactive about environmental conservation, the safety and maintenance of their facilities.

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