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Enjay Services Nig. Ltd.

eco LEGAL
SERVICES NIGERIA LIMITED

EFFECT OF NEGLIGENCE AND DELAY ON THE INTENSITY OF THE


CONSEQUENCES OF GLOBAL WARMING: The Nigeria Situation

*Peter A. John
Ecolegal Services Nig. Ltd, Port Harcourt-Nigeria
**Jerry A. Ellison:
Enjay Services Nig. Ltd, Port Hacourt-Nigeria
*ecolegal.ng@gmail.com; peanijo@yahoo.com
+234-805-52883665, +234-802-3854869, +234-803-9693897
Abstract
Collective anthropogenic activities in micro communities today have deposited a long term disastrous
effects to the worlds inhabitants. The steady increase in the global atmospheric temperature is affecting
the natural climatic conditions of the world’s community. The use of environmentally unfriendly
processes is implicated in the depletion of the ozone layer, thereby rendering the earth open to greater
heat and radiation effect from the sun. Another process of interest is the recycling of the enveloped heat
and reduced convectional movement of generated heat. Atmospheric pollution from various industrial,
domestic and natural activities are contributing processes to atmospheric warming. A collection of these
micro events, result in the accumulated heat component, which finally brings about ‘’Global Warming’’.
The neglect and delay on the management of the resulting disastrous effects, keeps the world at a risk of
waking up to get the impact. The recent problem of melting ice in the Artic, is a typical consequence of
global warming. Unpredictable climatic changes amongst others are also measures of the impact of
global warming. The major effect of global warming will be recorded around the coastal regions of the
world, due to the proximity to open water bodies. In Nigeria, the source of strength to the economy is in
the Niger Delta region, which is also a coastal region characterized by rich deposit of world’s most
demanding natural resources ‘’Crude Oil’’. This region is also characterized by huge governmental and
private industrial facilities, support structures and populated communities of experts, workers and work
seekers, with daily recorded increase in population. The increase in social misconduct, communal
clashes, disruption of production operation and kidnap cases are few indicators of expected events from
sudden population migration. Rising open water system may most likely occur, leaving the inhabitants of
the coastal region and its environs at the risk of facing communal clashes, extended famine, destroyed
ecosystem and the rich diverse biotic components, salt water intrusion, potable water scarcity, extended
health problem, possible cannibalism, submerged agricultural farm, destruction of industrial facilities and
many more. Lack of environmental data base in most developing and under developed countries is
enough reason for increase impact and inability to detect, monitor and regulate the various expected
effects. A collective, rather than individualistic effort will avoid the need of investing on the organization
rescue teams in future. It can be managed in the most economical method and that is starting with
awareness and training programs, establishment of special agencies, organizing monitoring programs,
strategically locating detector for environmental information gathering and detection. These and other
sustainable strategies can cushion the inevitable impact of the consequences of global warming in the
world’s community.

GLOBAL WARMING, EXPECTECTIONS, SIGNALS AND REMEDY


*HUMBLE SEARCH FOR MISSEN NATURAL HABITAT…

Introduction

For most people in Africa Global Warming is a phrase purely associated with the northern countries of the
planet, Europe, North America Russia etc. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact, the impact on
the developing countries of the World, such as Nigeria, will be far greater than the impact on the
developed countries.

This presentation is designed to generate awareness of the immediate future of Nigeria and the dramatic
climate changes that will occur, and offer some hope of mitigation to enable us to manage an economic
and human disaster on a large scale.

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One problem facing us today is the rapidly melting ice at the North Pole, which is something we cannot
prevent, the seas are rising rapidly now because mankind has contributed to an accelerated natural
occurring process. This, in turn, is causing an ecological breakdown of a gigantic proportion of our
ecosystem.

Global Warming
 The world today is experiencing a steady increase in atmospheric temperature, as a result of
man’s care-free activities.
…and as the atmosphere is a closed system,
 We are bound to suffer in a circular pattern, the pains of our unfriendly health and environmental
activities.

Hint!
A very serious problem, which requires an immediate and urgent attention is the MELTING ICE in the Artic
region of the globe.
… FAR! you may say, but the effects are closer than what we think.

Hint!
The growing menace to our planet was identified twenty or more years ago, but it is only in recent times
that the world governments have woken up to the reality of the situation, and left it far too late to halt
the accelerated process.

Only the media attention to the subject, informing the people of the encroaching problem, has forced
various governments to send experts to the Arctic Circle for corroborating evidence, which they now
have, and begin putting procedures in place to cope with the changes that are coming.

Impacts
 The impact of global warming and rising seas on the Niger delta region in Nigeria, if not met head
on, will be enormous.
 At present the very economic life blood of Nigeria is in the Niger Delta regions. Rising sea levels
will have a major effect on that and every other walk of life in the affected areas. This may
include:
 Displacements of persons
 Overcrowded Cities
 Drinking water shortages
 Escalating food prices
 Decimated fishing industry
 Constantly changing navigable channels
 Tribal violence/conflict
 Ethnic/boundary disputes
 Increase in communicable diseases and death through overcrowding
 Serious loss in biodiversity and ecological stability

Mud flats, Silt Movement


 The increasing depth of water will have a huge impact on the movement of mud flats and
deposition of silt from inland. As the water volume increases, by just a few inches, so the
ecological balance of things will start to change rapidly, bull rushes and swamp grasses holding
tidal mud flats together with their root system, will drown very quickly.

 This will allow currents to inroad on the delicate underwater hillocks and move the silt out into
larger channels, resulting in navigation hazards, which will require constant dredging in some
areas.

 Increased ocean volume will slow down the rush of rivers to the sea, allowing silt to be deposited
further inland, causing major blockages of arterial waterways. Rivers may spill their banks at low
places inland, causing stagnant lakes formation, where mosquito can thrive.

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Displaced Persons
 The human tragedy we are facing is probably the most difficult one we have to face. In just a few
short years areas of the swamp are going to become uninhabitable, from then on the tide of
people moving back from the rising waters will become a flood.

 Meanwhile, large tracts of land will become isolated, and ever shrinking islands, overcrowded with
human and animal population.

Tribal Conflict
 The habitable areas of the swamp will increasingly become more crowded and as food sources
dwindle tribalism may break out causing local disturbances of violence on an increasing scale.
 Centers of population such as Port Harcourt, Warri, Lagos, Eket and Calabar may well double in
numbers as the youth will be driven from the swamps in search of a living.
 People will congregate in tribes and very soon a situation may develop where civil war may very
easily break out.

Aquifer Pollution by Saline Encroachment


 A very real and imminent crisis already beginning, the encroaching sea will overcome the low
lying boreholes first. Those not properly sealed will allow saline encroachment to the aquifers,
which in turn may lead to the polluting of aquifers much further inland from the coast.

 Water shortages is a very real and probable scenario if not dealt with quickly and efficiently. The
oil industry requires many millions of liters every day for their facilities and a shortage due to
saline encroachment may have a marked effect on production. Corrosion of pipelines and metal
structures will be accelerated.

 Lack of potable drinking water in the cities may well give rise to outbreaks of violence and
pillaging

Fishing
 The most important occupation of the indigene of the coastal regions and the swamp areas is
Fishing.

 Because of the rapid rate of melting ice and influx of colder water into the equatorial regions,
aquatic life may have serious difficulties in adapting naturally to the changes. If this happens, we
may loose our biotic features, as many species may become extinct.

 It may be many decades of controlled fishing before a balance is returned, and fish stocks return
to normal.

Changing Weather Pattern


 Colder water from the north will have a dramatic effect on the weather. With warm air being
driven up at a greater volume and velocity, causing a cyclonic effect that may result in hurricane
type weather becoming more and more frequent.

 Cities such as Port Harcourt, Lagos and Warri, with their huge “shanty town” populations, would
be devastated by such an occurrence, with a probable large loss of life and injury to cope with.

What can we do?


 There is nothing we can do to stop the process happening, but, globally, and with the co-
operation of all the peoples on Earth, we may be able to slow it down.
 This would entail reduction of dependency on hydrocarbons on a massive scale, and a total ban
on the logging industry world wide, among other measures.
 Education of today’s young not to do what we have done, would be a major step forward.

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 Awareness programs through CBOs, NGOs, academic institutions, Government and private
agencies.

Desk Top Analysis


 With so many aspects of the consequences to consider, identifying areas of criticality to be
addressed first is paramount to going forward in finding solutions to help mitigate the probable
effects.
 Desk top risk assessment should be carried out, using risk assessment software, to identify, in
order of criticality, the consequences and all their aspects, including mitigation factors, and
prevention where possible.
 This should be done using multidisciplinary expertise, and a report issued showing what areas
should be addressed first, second, and third etc, in order of urgency.
 A multi-discipline think tank can then be organized to identify the best way forward on each
aspect identified

Areas to be addressed include


 Data gathering systems deployment (some units are already in place, others need to be added,
model building for projections, training programs for effective system operation in Nigerian).

 Socio economic studies to enable authorities put plans and procedures in place to help alleviate
the impacts.

 Stimulation of local industry to create a bigger market place for the increased population, with
emphasis on sustainable development projects with long term value.

 Sustained program of education of population in environmental issues, health, farm/smallholding


husbandry, conservation practices, training of artisans etc.

 Relocation of displaced persons.

 Abatement of abandoned boreholes, pipelines, fuel storage vessels, flow station facilities,
wellheads etc.

 Law and Order issues.

Complete solution system

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Desk top work/ Detect prone
Awareness data gathering areas Mapping/
program model design

Hazard
Baseline survey Primary solution identification
system

GIS-Based
EIMS

Initiate EIMS solutions

Secondary solution Tertiary solution

Special data Establishment of


Improved
System/network bank centre Special agency
Data gathering Personnel More training
organization
training opportunities

Figure 1: Proposed Solution Schematics

Summary

• The earth is about to suffer in a big way from the natural component which cannot be controlled
easily; WATER. The known characteristics of many regions in the world today is fast changing,
leaving no trend for prediction. What do we do?
• We may not be able in any way to avoid this disaster, rather we can put in place necessary
measures to manage the situation.
• We are opportune to have clear ideas of this much expected situation because of the data from
other agencies established in other countries in the world.
• It is not too late we can start-up immediately with what we have, so that we can successfully
alleviate the huge effect of this situation.
• WE NEED TO START TODAY…

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR LISTENING

ECOLEGAL SERVICES NIGERIA LIMITED

**ABSTRACT SUMMITTED TO THE ASS CONFERENCE, Houston USA, 2007