Oil spills another menace for the unique environment of the Niger Delta
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico opened the eyes of the public opinion on the environmental risks tied with deepwater oil extractions. The explosion occuring on the Deepwater Horizon platform, last 20 April 2010, killed 10 people. Furthermore, the well released in the Ocean hundreds of thousands cubic meters of oil before being finally capped in September. The accident in the United States revamped the interest to the phenomenon in Nigeria. In Niger Delta, a region of creeks and mangroves about the size of South Carolina, oil spills are very frequent. Environmentalists have calculated an average of 300 accidents per year in the region. These are mainly due to leaks in the obsolete pipelines. Close to the elections, main firms operating in the region have promised to invest money in the modernization of pipelines and refineries and to support the local communities setting up facilities with the large revenues deriving from the oil extraction. Let's hope the big companies will not go back on their promies after the poll.