Nigeria oil spills: Widespread ecological damage

Friday 5 Aug 2011 10:32 a.m.

A United Nations report says there is widespread ecological damage from oil spills in a region of Nigeria's crude-rich southern delta.

The UN report, released overnight, describes oil destroying crops and seeping into drinking water supplies in Ogoniland, a region of the Niger Delta.

In one case, the UN found one village where drinking water was polluted with benzene 900 times more than the international limit.

The UN also found one region where an oil spill 40 years ago hadn't been cleaned.

Some environmentalists say as much as 550 million gallons of oil have poured into the Niger River Delta during 50 years of production - at a rate roughly comparable to one Exxon Valdez disaster per year.

Repairing the damage done to the Niger Delta is the environmental disaster that the world forgot.

Watch the video for the full report.

3 News / AP

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