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Ndokwa Vanguard

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Oil spill: A call for change- by Jonah Esther Oghenero

Jul 25, 2023 #News

Oil is an important source of energy in the world. Oil is transferred from one place to another by the ships in the sea and through the pipes. Due to some kind of problems, the pipes leak and the oil spreads into the ocean Which leads to ocean pollution. It leaves greater impacts on the oceans and it can spread to nearby lands. The last oil spill happened on April 26th. 2023. 1k gallons of crude oil spilled into the Marsh area near orange. The outcome was not good at all.

There are different causes of oil spillage and some those causes are; It happens because of leaks from ships, well, pipelines and other carriers of the oil, it can be caused by some disasters and accidents which includes tankers refineries and drilling rigs, it can be caused by the storage facilities, the mistakes and carelessness of the people involved, the illegal activities of the people (sabotage and oil theft, which has become a major issue in the Niger River Delta States).

While the selling of stolen oil increases, the number of deaths caused by oil explosions increases as well. Most of the oil infrastructures are old and lack regular inspection and maintenance, many pipelines are as old as twenty to twenty five years.

Oil spills are damaging in a variety of ways, it has a major impact on the ecosystem into which it is released. It can cause a great impact on the health of the people who consume seafood. Spills in polluted areas often spread out over a wide area, destroying crops and aquaculture through contamination of groundwater and soils. When oil spills occur in the ocean, the oil does not mix with the water and it spreads on the surface, preventing sunlight from reaching the ocean animals and plants.

This can lead to the death of sea animals and plants. It can also destroy everything near the coastline. Oil spills affect the food chain of the whole ecosystem.

People in affected areas complain about health issues including breathing problems and skin lesions, many have lost basic human rights such as; right to good health, access to food like in agricultural communities where food supplies are destroyed, the right to good water and an ability to work.

Oil spills can be controlled in various ways. Firstly, such oil spillage should be prevented from happening by giving proper training to the team in charge. Proper guidelines should be followed in carrying such ships with care at all times. If there are cases of oil spills, it should be cleaned up with the use of oil bloom method, also known as containment bloom. When the oil has been cleaned up and bound by the oil blooms then the oil can be skimmed off with the help of slimmers.

Sorbents are another method that helps in removing the oil, they help in less wastage as well as less pollution. The most common and most useful method of removing oil spill is burning, which helps in removing 98% of the oil. Dispersal chemicals can also be used to remove oil.

There are various methods that can be adopted if oil spills occurs and they are; oil tankers should not be filled fully, but only around 90% of the total capacity should be filled , so that chances of leakage can be reduced, necessary checks should be done in order to reduce the potential of the overfilling tanks, proper guidelines set by the National authorities should be taken care f on a regular basis while filling and shipping oil, necessary check-up of storage sites should be done regularly, the use of absorbent pads for absorption to control leakage and after using any old oil equipment as well as absorbent it should be the recycled properly.

Conclusively, the issue of oil spills causes a great impact in the life of the people as well as animals and plants. It is a serious issue affecting all and should be given great attention to, in order to prevent such oil spillage from happening.

Jonah Esther Oghenero, a student of Delta State University, Abraka.

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