United Nations Environment Program (
4 August 2011
UNEP Ogoniland Oil Assessment Reveals Extent of Environmental Contamination and Threats to Human Health
Detailed soil and groundwater contamination investigations were conducted at 69 sites, which ranged in size from 1,300 square metres (Barabeedom-K.dere, Gokana local government area (LGA) to 79 hectares (Ajeokpori-Akpajo, Eleme LGA).
Altogether more than 4,000 samples were analyzed, including water taken from 142 groundwater monitoring wells drilled specifically for the study and soil extracted from 780 boreholes.
Some areas, which appear unaffected at the surface, are in reality severely contaminated underground and action to protect human health and reduce the risks to affected communities should occur without delay says UNEP's Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland.
In at least 10 Ogoni communities where drinking water is contaminated with high levels of hydrocarbons, public health is seriously threatened, according to the assessment that was released today.
In one community, at Nisisioken Ogale, in western Ogoniland, families are drinking water from wells that is contaminated with benzene - a known carcinogen - at levels over 900 times above World Health Organization guidelines. The site is close to a Nigerian National Petroleum Company pipeline.