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Community Affairs

Community Affairs

INTRODUCTION

Over the years, the activities of man have been transforming its environment gradually especially the Geo and Eco-systems. This implies that the activities of man may be destructive to the environment. To restore the environment, it will be very costly and time consuming especially if it were a permanent one.

Man’s activities associated with oil exploration and exploitation is one of those that affect the environment adversely wherever it is being carried out. As a result, farmlands, cash crops, aquatic life and others are affected communities could no longer engage in normal daily livelihood activities as before, and this makes it necessary for them to learn new trades in order to improve their lives, since their farmlands are less productive, they have to apply new farming techniques to bring about improved and current agricultural practices..

Other problems communities are facing is that of profitable water. Since all remediation and sources of water may be productivity polluted and as a result they suffer from the danger of waterborne diseases such as Cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, etc. in some localities, their means of transportation is also disrupted by the operation of large river crafts or heavy trucks.

Adding to these problems is that of inadequate compensation to the lands, cash crops, and economic tree owners. The attitude of the operating oil companies towards the communities is also of great concern and this in most cases brings about misunderstanding between the two parties. For example, the refusal of the oil companies to extend employment facilities to the youths in their areas of operation is capable of causing confrontation.

In other to alleviate the predicament of the host communities and reduce conflicts, the operating oil companies could assist in the following ways:

  1.  Health: Provision of health care will improve the standard of living in these areas.
  2.  Education: Assisting in training people in the area to acquire knowledge or learn new trade to improve their standards of living. Conduct research into how best the land and other resources of the area could be used the way it is.
  3.  Schools: Provision of schools in the host communities will also help in enhancing the education level of youths in the communities.
  4. Commerce/industry: Provision of small scale industries or financial assistance to people who wants to carry out feasible projects will be beneficial while reducing unemployment.
  5.  Agriculture: The damage done to farmland and aquatic life is capable of reducing agricultural productivity as a result, the people will not be able to feed properly. Therefore, agricultural research into improved varieties of inputs and their provision could improve productivity.
  6.  Transportation: Most of these areas are in difficult terrains, which make transportation very tedious and expensive. Roads, jetties, canals, vehicles and boats could be provided to ease transportation.
  7. Portable water: Water is one of the first things to be affected during oil exploration and exploitation activities. Very often, sources of drinking water are polluted and as a result, the provision of portable water becomes necessary.
  8. Electricity: Electricity has become a necessarily of life in many homes for utilization. Its provision will help in reducing confrontation and create goodwill.
  9. Adequate compensation: The activities of oil companies very often destroy food and cash crops and economic trees and this makes the people in these communities restive if adequate compensation is not paid.
  10. Award of contracts: Indigenes of such communities most times become aggressive to oil companies on seeing foreign contractors working their area and making huge profits without paying any regard to them.
  11. Employment: This is one of the major factors that normally being about conflict between the host communities and the oil companies. In areas where there is high rate of unemployment of youths, their refusal for employment by the oil companies is a source of confrontation.
  12. Public relation: Bad relationship between the host community and the oil company could bring about conflicts between the parties. A company with good image of public relation with its host communities will experience less hostility.

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