Ikenyei Ngozi Sandra, Nwankwo Ignatius Uche


This descriptive study examined health and related effects of oil exploration on selected oil producing communities in Ukwani local government of Ndokwa North area of Delta state in Nigeria. The communities constitute major oil producing areas in the country. However, onset of oil exploration has brought about several challenges to the area that includes massive environmental degradation, health challenges and fatal crises or conflicts which are antithetical to development. The extent of deprivation and alienation suffered by the communities over the years suggests that oil exploration and activities of Oil Exploration Companies tend to attract greater degree of life/health threatening conditions when compared to its advantages. Many people in the area are displaced and alienated from their livelihoods. Also, farm lands are degraded which cripples socio-economic activities and lives of those who are dependent on the environment. Theories adopted for explanation in this study hinged on symbolic interpretive models of deprivation and alienation. Data was qualitatively and quantitatively gathered through the use of questionnaire, IDI, KII and case study. Thematic abstraction of responses and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used in data analysis. Findings revealed that oil exploration negatively affected the people and alienated them from their original source of livelihoods, even as they are not given good appointments in oil companies in their area. A total of 108 out of 409 respondents were also of the view that there exist oppression and mental subjugation of community members by security personnel watching over oil activities. The study concludes that the people were not allowed full access to benefits of oil exploration, creating frustrations that fuel majority of the crisis recorded in the area. It was thus recommended that the area should be made less vulnerable to environmental pollution, and should be linked to social welfare services in order to experience sustainable development.

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