The Roles Of International Agencies In Environmental Security And Health Awareness In The Niger Delta (2010-2019)

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The Roles Of International Agencies In Environmental Security And Health Awareness In The Niger Delta (2010-2019)


Abstract


This study examined the role of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in Niger Delta region within the year 2010-2019.

The study adopted qualitative method and historical/analytical design was used in analyzing its data. Data were collected through secondary sources which include newspapers, archives, books, conference proceedings, etc.

The findings revealed that, oil spillage, gas flaring, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are some of the effects of oil production which are prevalent in the Niger Delta region. Also, the issue of environmental sustainability in Niger Delta region is still far fetch, although most of the foundations have been laid by government;. The oil exploration activities has generated a lot of violent crisis over the years, but several effort by the Federal government particularly, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has led to the peaceful resolution of the crises relatively.

The study concluded that, The environment are still highly degraded without much done to control the prevailing massive pollution. It was established that the continued poverty, infrastructural decay, unemployment, youth restiveness, militancy and other forms of agitations in the Niger Delta region are as a result of failure of governance and the institutional framework put in place by the international agencies and government to tackle the environmental problems faced by the people of the region as thrown up by the continued oil exploration and exploitation in the region.

The study further recommends that; International agencies need to be more proactive in their function of environmental protection by collaborating with the residents of Niger Delta region;. The international organizations need to intensify efforts on issues of health awareness by educating the people through various channels;. Realistic policies and legal structures must be put in place so as to harmonize government policies among sectors. Government policy, if it must not end up as mere rhetoric, must assume the people – centered notions of development which see wholistic interventions and, not just peripheral actions.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Globally, environmental security is an important concept in sustainability management due to the continuous growth of environmental consciousness in the developed nations like United State which have stimulated and sustained the growth of the environment (Botkin & Keller, 2012). Environmental security can take a form of hazard control process that is concerned with recognizing, evaluating and eliminating hazards that occur because of human errors and physical deficiencies in the environment (Jain & Rao, 2011). The outbreak of infectious disease has been increasing over time, and has the potential to threaten global GDP and economic gains of many countries worldwide. For instance, Pandemics have the potential to destroy over 1% of global GDP. However, effort has to be made by bringing it the awareness of the citizen so as to mitigate its effects (Wright & Boorse, 2018).

Natural events cannot be prevented from occurring but their impacts can be reduced through effective environmental security actions which can reduce their severity, frequency and impacts (Coenraads, 2019). In Africa, environmental security can take the form of health awareness on the impacts of natural environmental challenges, proper and sound environmental education, environmental monitoring with the use of satellites, geographical information systems and remote sensing techniques, government legislations, re-introduction of species, disaster predicting and mitigation, as well as environmental risk evaluation and mapping (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2016). In most developing countries of Africa, the management of man-induced challenges requires poverty alleviation, control of population growth, recycling of materials and resources, reduction of arms race, as well as empowerment of the poor. For instance, a sensitization programme education farmers on irrigation farming, agro-forestry, rotational grazing, and prevention of illegal felling of trees, controlled use of wood as source of fuel and energy, as well as afforestation and re-afforestation to control man-induced desertification (Hausers, 2011).

Environmental security has focused on sustainable utilization and protection of the human environment environmental degradation is a severe threat to human security and all life on earth (Ogbodo, 2010). Air, soil and water pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, etc., resulting from urbanization, industrialization, human, and agricultural activities can cause changes in our living conditions (Ifeanyi, 2012). However, the consequences of human economic activities was the accumulation of Green House Gases (GHG) in the earth‘s atmosphere and this could lead to climate change and its negative consequences and, the environmental degradation resulting from that could harm humanity, fauna and Flora, biodiversity, ecosystems and many others (Isaichei, 2019). Nature is no longer the opponent of society, against which humanity must struggle to survive but must protect from the negative consequences of our own activities. However, disaster management is all-encompassing. It entails respect and care for the environment as well as periodic environmental impact assessment. As the population of a country increases with attendant pressure on the environment especially in the wake of improved technologies, environmental abuse and pollution is heightened with its effects on lives of people and other living organisms (Ocheri, 2013).

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction identified environmental degradation as a clustered threat with which the world must be concerned now and in the decades ahead. It further explains how environmental degradation can cause the deterioration in environmental quality from ambient concentrations of pollutants and other activities (Genda, 2012). International summits on environmental issues and proliferation of international agreements on environmental issues began with the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) being the first major global environmental summit held in Stockholm (Miler & spoolman, 2011). The summit initiated a number of intergovernmental investigations, meetings and agreements on global environmental problems which resulted to the World Commission on Environment and Development’s (WCED) report. This report popularized the term “sustainable development” and introduced the term environmental security.

Some events have resulted to sustained awareness of environmental issues in Africa which include; the awareness which explained the impacts of pesticide DDT on animals and food chain (Genda, 2012). The threat natural environment caused directly or indirectly by human activities and how to mitigate such effect is one of the major roles of international agencies. For instance, integrated units of the federal ministry of health epidemiology division, the avian influenza project and its laboratories and the NFELTP programmes; these agencies developed capacity to track and control disease outbreaks.

Over the past years, Nigeria has been confronted with several outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases, including measles, yellow fever, cerebrospinal meningitis, cholera, Lassa fever, and monkey pox (Mary, 2015). In response to some of these disease outbreaks, public health workers have conducted vaccination campaigns, while also provided infection prevention and control training to health workers, established new laboratory testing capacity, and conducted communication and engagement activities to communities. In Nigeria for instance, environmental issues did not gain official prominence until Koko toxic waste dumping saga which also brought to the fore the exigent need to establish the Nigeria Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), Federal Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies, ostensibly to tackle environmentally related issues, in the country. The issues such as environmental pollution, sanitation, depletion of ozone layer, desertification, flooding, erosion, poverty, bush burning, deforestation, soil conservation etc. points to the issues of environment and impact of environmental pollution in Nigeria’s development process.

The effects of environmental challenges include loss of lives and properties, loss of genetic resources, environmental degradation, and loss of habitats, climate change and global warming, biodiversity loss, as well as epidemiological threat. Others are disturbance of human activities, reduction in ecosystem adaptability, need of communities that depend on environmental resources as their means of livelihood, as well as threat to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Based on the foregoing, the current research is analyzing the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in the Niger Dealta.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The realities of the effects of climate change and environmental degradation have already become real issues in Nigeria (Adejumo & Adejumo, 2014). Increased problems of water shortages, floods, droughts and desertification which threaten food security and human survival have become issue of concerns among scholars. Odermeho (2013) stated that in the past few years, most urban and rural communities have suffered from floods with the situation in year 2012 being recorded as the worst in recent times. In the face of these clear and present dangers of environmental degradation, the Nigerian state has responded through agencies, policies, and programmes that aimed at the protecting the environment and to ensure sustainable development. It is important to note that no studies have been conducted on the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in the Niger Delta both internationally and locally. Hence this study is considered timely.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in the Niger Delta.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To determine the roles of international agencies in environmental sustainability and health awareness in the Niger Delta.
  2. To determine the roles of international agencies in the management of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta.
  3. To find out the roles of international agencies in creating health awareness and attitudinal change in the Niger Delta.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the roles of international agencies in environmental sustainability and health awareness in the Niger Delta?
  2. What are the roles of international agencies in the management of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta?
  3. What are the roles of international agencies in creating health awareness and attitudinal change in the Niger Delta?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

  1. The outcome of this study will enlighten government, policy makers, stakeholders and general public on the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in the Niger Delta.
  2. The findings from this study will constitute a basis for future research and also contributing to the body of knowledge since it will be used as empirical literature.
  3. Outcome of this study will also be a guide for policy formulation both at state and national level.

1.6 Methodology

Methodology is part of the research that shows the ways and approaches of collecting the data (Oliver, 2004). This research is primarily qualitative as it is based on the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness in Niger Delta. The reason for choosing the qualitative analysis strategy is the exploratory and the qualitative nature of study. According to Robson (1993), flexibility is always the main strength of the case study strategy in terms of interpretation and getting access to the specified places. The research is a based on secondary data. We used document analysis/content analysis as main method of data collection. Document analysis/content analysis also called “textual analysis” (Travers, 2001) in the study will include all kinds of academic articles, textual and multi-media products, ranging from television programmes to web sites on the internet.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will cover the roles of international agencies in environmental security and health awareness. It will cover the entire Niger Delta. The choice of Niger Delta was informed going by the magnitude of environmental damages to the environment and the health consequence to the populace. It is also necessary to focus on Niger Delta because of international awareness it has generated for the reason that most of the companies producing oil in Niger Delta are international companies. It will also cover issues spanning 2010 to 2019. This period was chosen because of the neglect of the mop up exercise despite huge amount that has been committed to this clean up exercise by the government.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Roles:

Is the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation.

International Agency:

Is an organization with global mandates, generally funded by contributions from national governments.

Environmental Security:

Examines threats posed by environmental events and trends to individuals, communities or nations.

Health:

Is the state of being free from illness or injury.

Awareness:

Is knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time.


The Roles Of International Agencies In Environmental Security And Health Awareness In The Niger Delta (2010-2019)


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The Roles Of International Agencies In Environmental Security And Health Awareness In The Niger Delta (2010-2019)


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