08 Jul 2010:
Oil Fouling the Niger Delta
Dwarfs the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
The swiftly unfolding environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico has riveted the world’s attention
Click to enlarge
Nigeria spill (1960-present) and the 2010 BP spill
in recent weeks, but as the blog AidData points out, the amount of oil spilled in the Niger Delta over five decades far exceeds the disaster in the Gulf
, with even more devastating environmental consequences. Citing statistics from the United Nations Development Program, AidData says estimates of oil spilled in the Niger Delta since 1960 range from 5.75 million to 10 million barrels, roughly triple the amount of oil that has gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out Deepwater Horizon rig
. The oil spilled in the Niger Delta, attributable to vandalism and corroding pipelines, has devastated the once-pristine wetlands area that provided crops, wildlife, and seafood to all of Nigeria. Yet despite the vast quantities of oil that have polluted the Niger Delta, the total amount of money that corporations and international organizations have allocated to cleaning up the Delta is at least 13 times less than the funds being spent on the Gulf of Mexico spill — $180 million versus $2.35 billion, according to AidData, which tracks development finance.
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