The Amnesty International (IA) has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria and International Oil Companies (IOCs) to as a matter of urgency and human rights, investigate what it described as ‘shocking’ link between oil spills and baby deaths in Niger Delta area of the country.
This is coming against the backdrop of a study that found babies in the Niger Delta were twice as likely to die in the first month of life if their mother lived near an oil spill before falling pregnant.
The AI’s Director of Global Issues, Audrey Gaughran, on Tuesday, called on the IOCs to take responsibilities on how their activities might be impacting on the health of the oil producing communities in Nigeria.
Gaughran said: “This shocking study raises very serious questions about why international oil companies have not done more to monitor the impact of their activities on the health of people living in the Niger Delta.
“Nigeria’s government should establish a system of independent monitoring to alert communities to any health risks posed by the oil industry and hold companies to account for any damage their activities may cause.”
Environmental disaster and degradation have become a source of concern in the Niger Delta with the IOCs and Nigerian government doing little or nothing to clean up the area, which is one of the key demands of the militants.
Consequently, the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has called off its ceasefire arrangements with the Federal Government, threatening to resume bombings and destruction of oil facilities.