EFFECT OF OIL SPILLAGE ON ALAKIRI COMMUNITY IN OKRIKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
This study examined the effect of crude oil spillage on the marine water of Alakiri Community in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. Water and Sediment samples were collected from three major creeks, the Alakiri Creek (sample point B - the spillage point), the Okari Creek (sample point C - the spillage movement point), and the Oputuro Creek (sample point A - the control point) to determine the physico-chemical parameters of the collected samples. Parameters examined include, among others: pH, Total Hydrocarbon Content (THC), dissolved oxygen, and heavy metals, etc. In comparing the mean values of the pH of 4.85 (for the polluted water) and 3.76 (for polluted sediments) with that of Federal Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Petroleum Resources (FEPA/DPR) limits, these values show a slight decrease from acceptable fish survival limit in the marine environment. The dissolved oxygen in the polluted water ranged from 3.00 mg/L to 3.27 mg/L with a mean value of 3.15 mg/L. These levels are below FEPA/DPR standards of 5.00 mg/L. High THC was observed both in sample B (1760 mg/L) and sample C (3200 mg/L), and these values are above the FEPA/DPR limit set for marine environment. The levels of heavy metals (except chromium and iron) in the water and sediment samples were generally low and found to be within the set limits established by FEPA and DPR. The mean value of oil and grease in the polluted water, however, was 2480 mg/L and this value is higher than the FEPA standard of 20 mg/L. What these results then call for, is the development of national systems for marine pollution management, in particular, oil spill preparedness in order to minimize offshore oil spillage and its effect on the ecosystem.
FRANCIS D. UDOH AND NSIFIOK M. AKPAN
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