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Gas Flaring, Agriculture and Livelihood Security in the Niger Delta Areas of Nigeria

Gas Flaring, Agriculture and Livelihood Security in the Niger Delta Areas of Nigeria
Olumuyiwa B. Alaba
, Boluwatife T. Ejiofoh
and Victoria O. Foye
1.1 Introduction
Gas flaring has being an issue of concern since the discovery and exploration of oil in
commercial quantity in Nigeria. Statistical data on gas production and flaring remain
inaccurate but available statistics estimate associated gas produced and flared in Nigeria to be
in the neighbourhood of 25 per cent of the UK's total natural gas consumption. Although
Nigeria ranked relatively low in terms of contribution to the global green house gases
(GHGs) emission when compared with industrialized and emerging economies, it is the
topmost country in flaring of associated gas
. On the average, about 1000 cubic feet of gas is
produced with every barrel of oil in Nigeria, with nearly all usually being wasted until fairly
recently. Through the 1990s, Nigeria emits about 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide
annually and primarily via flaring of natural gas.
Gas flaring in Nigeria “wastes large amounts of valuable energy potential. The country
wastes about US$2 billion worth of associated gas per year. The World Bank estimated that
daily volume of gas flared in Nigeria is equivalent of twelve times the daily energy
requirement in the continent
. Associated gas constitutes a major threat to climate in Nigeria
in general and the Niger Delta in particular. It contains significant amount of methane and
carbon dioxide, major components of greenhouse gasses, and a major influence on global
warming. Uncontrolled release of associated gases contaminates the atmosphere and
produces quantum of emission estimated to be more than the combined emissions of the rest
of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
. Flaring is somewhat ironic in Nigeria where the abundant oil
and gas, and various intensive exploratory projects do not provide sufficient energy for
domestic use yet it causes pollution that exerts significant pressure on the productive
resources of the immediate environment and beyond.
Scientists indicate that if the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission
and other so-called GHGs continue to rise, the earth’s climate will become warmer
. Though
little is still known about the possible costs and benefits of warming, it is obvious that the
impact will be readily significant across the globe
. Apart from CO2 emission in Nigeria
amount methane emission, a very efficient greenhouse gas that can trap heat 20 times better
Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria and Equilibria Consulting NG, Nigeria (
Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Malumfashi, 2008
US EIA, 1999
Ejiofoh, 2011
IPCC, 1990, 1992 and 1996
Schmalensse et al. 1998
than CO2 is equally very significant (as much as 20 million tons)
. The combination of CO2
and methane emissions constitutes a catastrophic influence on GHGs concentration in the
atmosphere and, in effect, global climatic change. Other gases released during flaring include
sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, organic acids, and hydrocarbons
Immediate impact of gas flaring and venting manifests high and rising temperature in the
communities close to flare sites and beyond, acidification of rainwater, deposits of black
powder covers. These result in crop growth retardation, distortion of aquatic life and
respiratory disorders, all of which combine to put health and livelihood at risk in the Niger
Delta. Many different communities, including fishermen and farmers have for decades being
confronted with difficulties arising from gas flaring. Peoples' livelihoods are continually
threatened and already poor are becoming even more impoverished. Climate refugees are
being created as flared motivated change in climatic conditions make bulk of the Delta land
coverage uncultivable and water resources economically unviable. The latter is a major driver
of migration in order to seek alternative livelihood and a possible push factor for insurgency
in the Niger Delta.
The magnitude of the problems informs the need to analyse the extent of gas flaring and its
impact gas on livelihood, and ecology and climatic conditions in the Delta region of Nigeria.
Paradoxically the British government whose company started gas flaring in Nigeria already
implemented domestic policy to end gas flaring in its home land, yet it has continued to to
sustain the practice in the developing and least developed economies including Nigeria. The
main focus of the study is to determine extent and the impact gas flaring in Nigeria to inform
evidence-based policy, institutional and legal frameworks to tackle gas flaring in Nigeria. In
addition, the outcome of this study is capable of providing evidences for potential
additionality requirement for Nigeria’s participation in the global Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM) market.
The rest of the study id organised as follows
2.1 Gas Flaring: Nigeria in the Global Picture
Globally, Nigeria is the topmost country in gas flaring trailed closely by Russia, Iraq, and
Iran (Figure1.1). In 2003, Nigeria led other countries in gas flaring. Nigeria led other
significant gas flaring countries, including Russia, Iraq and Iran, by between two and nine
billion cubic meters. In addition, it flares multiples of other countries such Algeria, USA,
Gabon, UK and Norway.
USAID, 2002
Ajayi and Ikporupo, 2005; and Adeyemo, 2006.
Figure 1.1 below shows Nigeria among 15 major gas flaring countries in 2003.
Figure 1.1: Volume of Gas Flared in 2003
Source: Data Adapted from Malumfashi, 2007.
The Niger Delta communities have settled in the areas for several decades, the oldest
inhabitants of the Niger Delta in Nigeria have been in the areas for about 7 to 10 thousand
years. The primary occupations of the people include farming, fishing, craft making and
forest products gathering. The region is blessed with enormous natural resources and third
largest mangrove forest with most extensive freshwater swamp and tropical rainforest
characterized by significant ecological diversity. Niger Delta region has significant deposits
of non-renewable resources the most prominent of which is hydrocarbon from which oil and
gas are being produced.
The region has about 606 oil fields (355 onshore, 251 offshore), 193 of which are operational
as at the end of 2006. 23 have been abandoned for economic reasons, including bad prospects
for profitable exploration or total drying up (NNPC 2006c). Between 1999 and 2004, an
average of 180 wells was drilled annually, the rate differing from year to year in relation to
the prospects of filling Nigeria‘s OPEC-quota (NNPC 2006b). In all, about 5,284 wells were
drilled throughout the Niger Delta Region as at 2004 (NDDC 2004). Petroleum activities are
indeed very visible; the landscape is filled with webs of pipelines, both underground and
surface layouts. At night, chimney-like gas flares light up the sky and quite visible from far
distances. Over 1,500 of the aforementioned 3,000 communities host some kind of oil and/or
gas facility (NDDC 2004). What were once only farming and fishing communities now have
become communities on top of oil fields (Oghifo, 2011).
The damage on the environment affects food production, increase poverty, cause crime
(Alaba 2011a, 2011b). The mostly affected areas tagged the Niger Delta area covers about
nine states located mostly in South-South part of Nigeria. The Niger Delta is Nigeria's largest
wetland region and is the third largest wetland in the world. It covers over 70,000 square
kilometres between latitude 4o15'N and 4o50'N and longitude 5o25'E and 7o37'. It is
characterized by extensive interconnectivity of creeks, deltaic tributaries, flood plains,
mangrove swamps and other coastal features. The Niger Delta has been declared a key zone
Volume of Gas Flare in 2003 Billion Cubic meters
for the conservation of the Western Coast of Africa on the basis of its extraordinary
biodiversity (Idris, 2007).
However, much of the immediate environments are experiencing significant change which is
impacting negatively rain fall pattern causing extreme of floods and droughts, graduating
heat, and humid conditions. This situation is catalysed by the geography of the Niger Delta as
much of the lands are not only low lands, but below the sea level. Therefore, when rivers
overflow as a result of ecological change it causes salt water to flood the lands making it
unusable for agriculture.
3.0 Conceptual Issues
3.1 Gas Flaring and the Environment
More than ever before human activity relating to uncontrolled greenhouse gas (GHG) and its
effects on the earth is gaining greater space in the global academic and policy discussions.
Rising temperature, melting glaciers, greater precipitation, extreme weather events, and
volatile are now of frightening dimensions. The greenhouse effect commonly refer to as
“Global Warming”, which codifies the observation relating to increased warming of the
northern hemisphere by more than 1oF over the last 100 years, and in particular the 1980s and
1990s through the start of the 21st century have been ascertained to be the warmest in the last
1000 years.
The above concern and its consequences have brought gas flaring into greater visibility in the
last few decades. Scientists have found out that oil deposits exist along with it natural gas
deposits. The process of oil exploration in many part the world, developing countries in
particular leave gas components of the hyrocarbons to escape deliberately untrapped and
burnt on the surface. This process is technically called gas flaring. Gas flaring is the practice
of burning off natural gas as it gets to the surface in places where there are no infrastructure
to capture and convert them into commercially valuable resources.
The facility known as gas stack is an elevated vertical conveyance built along with oil and
gas wells, rigs, refineries, chemical plant, natural gas plants, and landfills. It is used to
eliminate gas associated with oil being explored which is otherwise not feasible to transport.
They also act as safety system for exploitable gas which is released via pressure relief valves
when required and to ease the strain on equipment. This also protects gas processing
equipment from being over pressured. In the 1960‘s and 70‘s, invaluable volume of gas were
flared continuously at oil wells from Texas to Saudi Arabia. At its peak, about 110 million
metrics tonnes of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere each year- about 0.5 per
cent of the world‘s carbon dioxide emissions (Oghifo, 2011). More than 150 billion cubic
metres of natural gas are wasted through flaring and venting annually, an amount worth about
US$30.6 billion, equivalent of 25 per cent of United States (US) or 30 per cent of European
Union (EU) gas consumption per year (Word Bank, 2009). Flaring and venting of natural gas
from oil and gas wells has continued to be significant in developing oil producing countries.
Black carbon produced during flaring has strong implications for climatic change. Compared
to other GHGs black carbon is generally a short-lived but strong warming agent. It impacts
the climate in three ways. One, when black carbon is in the atmosphere, it absorbs sunlight
rather than other aerosols that act to reflect sunlight. In addition, it increases low-level clouds,
which equally possess properties capable of further warming. Finally, when it leaves the
atmosphere, it can piled up on snow and absorbs sunlight, leading to warming of the snow
around it, sometimes weeks faster than clean snow. Melting snow reduces the Earth's
reflectivity, known as albedo, which leads to further warming. The Arctic is warming twice
as fast as the rest of the Earth, in part because of black carbon (Justmeans, 2011). According
to NASA black carbon contributes a quarter of the observed global warming. Its reduction
may therefore provide immediate benefits to mitigate the effects of climate change and
maintenance of snowpack, sea ice, and permafrost.
The environmental damage resulting from gas flaring directly affects human and aquatic life.
It includes pollution of water and contamination of the soil. In addition to human angle,
damages to the environment affect vegetation, livestock and agriculture in general. The
impacts on agriculture are well established. In agriculture, gases emission reduces the soil
moisture (Savabi and Stockle, 2001), and capable of affecting crop yield through impacting
nutrients availability in the soil (Bedell et al., 2003). Similarly, black dusty carbon particles
flared into the atmosphere can lead to weaker hydrological cycle that connects directly to
availability and quality of fresh water (Ramanathan et al., 2001). Chameides et al. (1999)
suggested that the resulting haze from atmospheric deposits could depress optimal yields by
about 70 per cent of the crops grown in China by at least 530 per cent (see Oghifo, 2011).
Damage from consumption of the toxic emissions by the surrounding vegetation can affect
the quality and aesthetic value of plants and reduces their economic value (Westenbarger and
Frisvold, 1994). CO2 sink in the atmosphere (Johnson and Fegley, 2002), resulting water can
become harmful to vegetation (Cape, 2003) and aquatic life (Havens et al., 1993). In respect
of health implications, the acidic reactions mix and travel with the air and can lead to
leukaemia, asthma and pre-mature death (World Rainforest Movements, 2008).
Some initiatives have been put in place by international organizations including the United
Nations (UN) and the World Bank to reduce gas flaring. Many countries have taken
advantage of these measures to achieve reduction in venting of associated gas, and in fact
exploring its commercial potentials. In addition, efforts to reduce gas flaring increased when
the evidences regarding the negative climatic impact became better understood. However,
flaring of associated gas remains significant in Nigeria. The conflict of status of Nigeria
being a signatory to global conventions on climate change and the leading gas flaring nation
makes this study more interesting.
3.2 Theoretical Issues
Strands of theoretical controversies exist in the literature on relationship between
development and the environment. The general consensus remains that there is a strong and
multi-dimensional relationship between the environment and growth. Development affects
the environment and vice versa. Scholars have argued that quest for development should
precede consideration for the environmental damage resulting it. Another school have
indicated the need for balance between the quest for economic prosperity and the
environment. The latter school is of the opinion that successful economic development must
consider quality of the environment and natural resource conservation. The former applies
environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), a widely used concept in the theoretical analysis of the
nexus between the environment and economic development in 1990s (see Stern et al. 1996).
In its original form EKC developed by Simon Kuznets in 1965 was applied in the analysis of
elationship between income inequality and development. On this subject, environmental
degradation is a necessary component of development which according to Kuznet model may
not be address until desire development is achieved. According to the theory, once
development is achieved, resources will be available to address environmental issues.
Beckerman (1992) demonstrates that there is strong correlation between incomes, and the
extent to which environmental protection measures are adopted, and in fact suggests that
surest way to improve environment is to become rich first (Panayotou 2003).
The characteristics of an EKC are given in figure 2.1 below. Figure show the relationships
between environmental degradation, pollution in the original and economic development
during three phases of development namely the pre-industrial economies, industrial and post-
industrial economies (Ansuategi et al., 1998; Arrow et al., 1995; Ekins, 1997; Pearson, 1994;
Stern etal., 1996; Stern, 1998 among others).
Figure 2.1: Environmental Kuznets Curve
Source: Kumar et al. 2008
The figure shows the stages of development and the implications for the environment (kumar
et al, 2008). Some authors have analysed that in the context of phases in development. Pre-
industrial economies that are basically dependent on agriculture accompanied with low
environmental degradation relative to the industrial or developing economies. At the post-
industrial stage, the environmental degradation already levelled off and then starts declining
(Sandbrook 1991, O’Connor and Turnham 1992, Panayotou 2000, Brown 2001, Adeyemo,
The major content of the criticism is that EKC assumed that there is no feedback from
environmental damage to the economic production as the model treated income as an
exogenous variable. It is assumed that damages to the environment do not reduce economic
activity sufficiently enough to impact negatively on growth and development processes. In
other words there is an assumption that economy is sustainable irrespective of the state of the
environment. The Niger Delta experience in Nigeria has proven the irreversibility
assumption of the EKC theory wrong as oil production and consequent flaring of associated
gas in Nigeria has had severe environmental leading to economic consequences for the
immediate communities.
Counter thoughts by the sustainable development concept officially came into the discussion
of environment and economic development in 1987 when the World Commission on
Environment and Development of the United Nations published the Brutland Report. The
report published in 1987 indicates that it is possible to attain sustainable development that can
meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future
generations to meet their own needs (World Commission on Environment, 1987). The report
further indicates that sustainable development requires the combinations of social,
environment and economic considerations to make unbiased judgements relating to the future
(see World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2000). The sustainability thinkers
consider a system which supports the long run carrying capacities of supporting biophysical
and social systems (Daily and Ehrlich, 1992). Jansson et al, (1994) suggests that the core of
sustainability is rooted in ensuring the possibility that current human activities do not shift
costs or risk onto, or effect transfer of the property or resource rights of other human
interests, today or tomorrow in the absence of appropriate compensation. In addition,
environmental management theory should affect the distribution of community resources in
such a way that private interests do not compromise community interests (see Pareto, 1936).
4.0 Analysis
4.1 Methodology
Various methodologies ranging from qualitative to quantitative methods have been applied in
the literature. In this study we adopt a combination of qualitative analytical procedure in an
eclectic form in explaining relationships between gas flaring environment, and livelihood in
the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In addition, the study will adapt data from similar studies
that explored survey data of the Niger Delta region on similar subject. This qualitative
analytical procedure applies methods ranging from narrative procedure to statistical methods
which include the use of ratios, percentages and pictorials to analyse the relationships
between the components of gas flaring, environment, climate change and living standards.
The data for the study were sourced from both secondary and semi-secondary sources. The
data on flaring impact on climate and environment, agricultural practices, crops production
and farmers livelihood were adapted from surveys conducted by Orimogunje et al. in 2010
and Oghifo in 2011.
4.2 Study Area and Context
This chapter contains the analysis of various connections between gas flaring environment
and agriculture in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Niger Delta region of Nigeria was
selected for a variety of reasons. The area currently possesses highly valued mineral
resources oil and gas on which the national economic prosperity of Nigeria currently
depends. However, the exploitation and management of oil and other resources have created
significant environmental problems that have led to long-standing and significant ecological
problems for the Delta communities. The environmental problem caused by mineral
exploitation and deliberate release of gases associated with exploitation have caused
significant ecological imbalance thus aggravating loss of economic potentials, livelihood and
poverty in the region. Some of the areas of the Niger Delta in which gas flaring remains very
significant include Bantan, Odidi, Escravos, Ekpan, Otumara, Sagara, Mkpanak and Eket
communities all of which spread across a number of states and operating companies in the
Niger Delta region.
4.3 Gas Flaring and Gas Utilization in Nigeria.
Gas flaring has been an issue of concern in Nigeria since the early 1960s. Gas production and
gas flaring have increased significantly in Nigeria since 1965. While gas production
increased by about nineteen folds between 1965 and 2008. Gas flaring also rose by about five
folds during the same period. Figure 4.1 shows the trend in gas flaring in Nigeria.
Figure 4.1: Trend in Gas Flaring in Nigeria
Source: Based on data from Madume, 2010.
Gas flaring in Nigeria grew steadily from 1965 and declined marginally in 1975 before
stabilizing through to 1978. Flaring of associated gas peaked in 1979 as result of the oil boom
of the late 1970s a positive trend for Nigeria which spurred significant increase in oil
production to satisfy the global market. Volume of oil production and shift of emphasis from
seemingly less valuable associated gas might explain the significant rise that shocked the
trend in gas flaring in Nigeria. Significant drop in gas flaring also followed oil market bust
which began from the 1980. The trend was somewhat stable from 1981up to 1987 and
gradual growth in gas flaring between 1988to 1997 with another but a less significant spike in
1999 followed immediately by another crash. Gas flaring stabilised in Nigeria since then
except for a minor spike experienced again in 2004.
Gas flared in relation to gas utilised decreased from 96 per cent of gas produced in 1965 to 81
per cent in 1998, 40 per cent in 2005 and 28 per cent in 2008. Figure 4.2 below shows trend
in gas utilised and gas flared in Nigeria between 1965 and 2008.
Gas Flared
Figure 4.2: Gas Utilised and Gas Flared in Nigeria, 1965-2008
Source: Based on data from Madume, 2010.
From the interval analysis gas flared is a multiple of gas utilised in Nigeria until the year
2000s. Five-year lag analysis in Figure 4.2 shows that gas flared in the Niger Delta region of
Nigeria in 1965 was about 25 folds of gas utilised, trend which became worse in 1970 when
gas flared was over 110 rounds of gas utilised in Nigeria. The ratio gradually declined
afterwards. The ratio in 1995 is such that gas flared is only about four-folds of gas utilised.
By 2005 comparison of gas utilised and flared shows that gas utilised had grown in
proportion to outpace gas flared in the Delta region. In 2005 gas flared is about two-third of
gas utilised in Nigeria and by 2008 gas flared crashed in terms of gas utilised as gas flared in
Nigeria is only 40 per cent of the gas utilised.
4.3 Gas Flaring and Effects on the Indicators of Climate Change in the Niger Delta
This section of the analysis on gas flaring on indicators of environment adopts data from the
field study conduct by Orimogunje et al. in 2010 at the Mkpanak oil field and a site of
significant gas flaring in Akwa Ibom region of the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Given that farming is
the main activity Mkpanak the survey by Orimogunje and targeted the crop farming in their
survey of connection between gas flaring, climate impact and livelihood in the Delta region
of Nigeria. The first assumption in the survey process is that gas flaring affects climate
change through increase in temperature and changes in rain fall pattern during the survey.
The survey applied the assumptions to investigate the effects of temperature and rainfall
patterns. The survey generated data on effect on farming through the farmers in the Mkpanak
region one of the sites where oil exploration is carried out by the Exxon Mobil. Responses
where generated in three main areas of indicative effects namely, direct effects of gas flares
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2008
Gas Utilised
Gas Flared
on crops, effects of temperature change on crops, and effects of change in rainfall pattern on
crops all in Mkapanak, Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
Figure 4.3 gives the analysis of the direct effect of gas flaring on farms in MKpanak
community in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. According to the farmers contacted, the
most significant effect noticed on their farms were stunting followed by wrinkling leaves of
crop planted.
Figure 4.3: Direct Impact of Gas Flaring on Farms
Defoliation of leaves is also very significant but the occurrence is lesser in magnitude
compared to the previous effect mentioned above. The least regular effects indicated by the
respondent is withered leaves.
Changes in rainfall pattern and temperature are major fall outs of gas flaring in the Niger
Delta region of Nigeria. The two are some of the major indicators of climate change. Starting
with the consequences of changes in rainfall pattern, significant negative changes were
noticed on crop planted by the respondent. Although less significant than the former, the
number of respondent that reported no substantial damages to their crops of farming activities
were also significant.
defoliation withered leaves stunted growth wrinkling leaves
Figure 4.4: Effects of Change in Rainfall Pattern on Crop Farming
Some of the less significant results of changes in rainfall pattern, as an indicator of climatic
change, include low harvest, late harvest and delay in planting season in respective order of
importance as given in figure 4.4.
Only few of the farmers in Mkpanak were able to identify the impact of temperature on palnts
and crops on their farms. Majority felt increasing temperature had no effects on the plamnts
and crops on their farms, while few farmers reported that change in temperature is
responsible for stunnted growths and scothed plants on their farm (figure 4.5).
Figure 4.5: Effects on Temperature on Crops
Not applicable change on crop delay in
planting season
late harvest low harvest others
Not applicable stunted growth scothed plants others
The inference from putting figures 4.5 against 4.3, is that farmers were unable to identify
transmission between gas flaring and temperature and crop performance. The possible
comprehension is that gas flaring naturally brings heat which naturally affects the plants. The
major limitation here is the proper education on the indicators of climate change before the
4.4 Gas Flaring and Livelihood in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
This analysis adapted date from Oghifo (2011). The survey covered four communities where
significant oil exploration and gas flaring is common in the Niger Delta. The communities are
Bantan, Escravos, and Odidi 1 and 2. The effect of gas flaring on livelihood is determined by
seeking the extent to which gas flaring affected the residents of the communities and the
coping strategies in the Delta region of Nigeria. Figure 4.6 presents the effect of oil
exploration and associated release of wastes in the four communities surveyed. The residents
of Bantan, Escravos and Odidi 1 and 2 were unable to separate the effect of gas flaring from
other oil exploratory activities. This study therefore used the general responses to the impact
of oil exploration and associated wastes as a proxy for effects of gas flaring on the
environment and livelihood in the areas.
Figure 4.6: Impacts of Oil Exploration and Associated with Oil on the Environment and
Majority of the residents, about 36 per cent in these communities see oil exploration activities
and associated wastes to be of a very negative consequence for their livelihood. About 24 per
cent were indifferent, while about 20 per cent indicated that the activities were negative.
About 20 per cent of the residents of those communities indicated that oil exploration and the
associates had positive influence on their environment and livelihood in the Niger Delta
region. In total, 56 per cent indicated that oevrall oil activities in the communities have
negative impact on them, while 20 per cent where impacted them positively.
Residents that were impacted negatively indicated various mechanisms by which they cope
with the negative effects of oil exploration and associated release of wastes into their
very negative negative positive very positive indifferent
environment. Figure 4.7 shows that majority, about 28 per cent, of the affected residents in
the communities reduced their household expenditures to adjust to the negative effects on
their livelihood.
Figure 4.7: Strategies to Cope with Livelihood Loss
About 16 per cent of the affected had to engage in other non-farming activities to survive the
negative impact of changes in their environment. 12 per cent indicated that they had to sell
family assets, while about 8 per cent called their savings from the bank. In addition, 20 per
cent use the income from other non-farming family business to survive the adverse
consequence on their livelihood, 12 per cent lived on borrowed funds while 4 per cent
received helps from friends and relatives.
5.1 Conclusions
The aim of the study is to attempt a detailed analysis of the trend in gas flaring in Nigeria;
and determine the effect of gas flaring on the environment. In addition, it sought to identify
the implications of gas flaring and extreme climatic events on welfare of oil producing
communities of the Niger Delta where wastes associated with oil exploration in their
communities have been neglected and have constituted significant dangers to the inhabitants
of the communities. The study explored two strands of theories in the literature to anchor the
analysis of the impact of gas flaring on climatic and living conditions, and overall livelihoods
in the immediate environment. The two theoretical frameworks considered are the
environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) and sustainable development framework. The former
suggests that there will always be inverse relationships between environment degradation and
production when countries are at the initial stages of development, and in fact mid-way into
industrialization. On the other hand, sustainable development theorists suggest that there
must be a balancing between development and degradation. In conclusion gas flaring and
unregulated oil exploration in general have been responsible for significant damages to the
Niger Delta environments and a significant loss of livelihood and limitations to economic
development in the Niger Delta. Heat associated with gas flaring in the Niger Delta causes
significant increase in temperature and changes in rainfall pattern, which are specific
engage in
sold assets use of bank
use of income
from family
helped by
friends &
indicators of changes in climatic conditions of the Niger delta areas. Although gas flaring has
increased in volume over the last five decades given significant increase in oil exploration, its
proportion in relation to gas utilization has gone down significantly since 2005. The Niger
Delta region of Nigeria requires urgent and significant attention to addressing gas flaring and
environment in general to make production and the economies in those areas able to sustain
traditional means of livelihood for the inhabitants.
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