Impact of gas flaring on communities in Delta region of Nigeria, narrative review part 1: environmental health perspective
Keywords:Occurrence, Impact, Risks to human health, Government interventions
Gas flaring is the combustion of associated gas from crude-oil exploitation and exploration operations and occurs in refineries, oil wells, oil rigs by fiery of the gas. Nigeria is one of the main producers of gas in the world and oil exploration activities have occasioned high rate of gas flaring because of poor enforcement of anti-gas flaring laws by the regulatory authorities. Gas flaring comes with serious environmental concern because it is a major source of air pollution with adverse public health consequences particularly in the gas flaring communities. The objective of this narrative review is to identify the risks associated with gas flaring in relation to the environment. Literatures from diverse databases including peer reviewed journals as well as governmental and organizational papers were searched to develop the narrative. Over the years, several laws have been enacted in Nigeria with stipulated dates to end gas flaring, but the targets have not been met. The Federal government of Nigeria updated the legal framework titled flare gas (prevention of waste and pollution) regulations, 2018 to facilitate financial profits through utilization and commercialization of associated gas, with a view to reduce or exterminate flaring. This effort appears ineffective due to weak enforcement and poor monitoring mechanism. The statutory government institution entrusted to enforce anti-gas law may benefit from some sort of motivation to ensure oil operators comply to combat environmental health risks from gas flaring.
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