Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Niger Delta Nigeria

Geschreven op 18-5-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberA Delicate Delta Home to 25 Million People. The Niger Delta stretches for 20,000 square kilometres along Nigerias southern Atlantic Coast. The second largest delta in the world, it is home to around 25 million people, with rivers, creeks, estuaries, wetlands and thousands of villages scattered throughout the largest mangrove swamp in Africa.

The deltas ecosystem has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, including numerous species of terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. It is also home to the widest range of butterfly species anywhere in the world.

Not far from its main city, Port Harcourt, the delta also holds some of the worlds richest oil reserves, making Nigeria the worlds seventh largest oil producer. Extensive oil production has caused widespread pollution in parts of the delta.

Most of the labourers in the oilfields are migrant workers. The local people, who come from 40 different ethnic groups, make their living from agriculture and fishing. They are some of the lowest paid people in Nigeria, most of them living below the poverty line. To add to this, rivalries between a number of warlords and different ethnic groups frequently lead to outbreaks of violence.

Projected climate changes, including rising sea levels and extreme weather events, could lead to significantly increased flooding of the delta. The resulting intrusion of seawater into the sources of fresh water would threaten the whole ecosystem, destroying the mangroves and seriously affecting agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure and the livelihood of the local communities. It may also have a serious impact on oil production.

To compound matters, the people of the region would become increasingly vulnerable to water-borne diseases such as malaria, dysentery and cholera.

By the end of this century, large parts of the delta may have been destroyed, forcing millions of people, deprived of a basic income, to abandon their homes and relocate.

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  1. Erik van Erne zegt:

    20 mei 2010 om 10:44 | Permalink

    Shell in the Niger Delta by Amnesty International

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