Nigeria launches clean-up for Ogoniland oil region

OGONILANDThe Ogoniland region has been seriously affected by oil operations since the 1950s. (Image source: Flickr/Friends of the Earth)The Nigerian government, in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has launched a US$1 bn clean-up programme for the Ogoniland region in the Niger Delta after it was found that the oil industry has had a serious impact on the local environment

In 2011, the Nigerian government commissioned a report by UNEP on the impact of oil extraction on Ogoniland and the clean-up, announced this month, is a response to the report's recommendations. The report revealed serious and widespread contamination of soil and groundwater across the region, and that institutional control measures put in place by the oil industry and the government were not adequately implemented.

Recommendations of the report included the establishment of a restoration authority with a specific mandate to clean up Ogoniland and restore eco-systems, as well as an environmental restoration fund with initial capital of US$1 bn. Oil operations have been in place in Ogoniland since the 1950s.

"The task to clean up Ogoniland will neither be easy nor fast, but it needs to be done," said Erik Solheim, UNEP's incoming executive director and special envoy to Ogoniland since 2013. "If we succeed here, it will demonstrate that degraded environments can be restored, sending a signal to many other communities around the world that peaceful cooperation can lead to positive outcomes."

The Ogoniland restoration project is likely to be the world's most wide-ranging and long-term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken, and experts suggest it may take up to 25 years to fully restore eco-systems.


Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W:

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?