The Health Impact of Government Interventions

Paper Info
Page count 8
Word count 2387
Read time 9 min
Topic Health
Type Research Paper
Language 🇺🇸 US

Introduction

The link between environmental destruction and adverse health is ambiguous (Bryan & Ejumudo, 2011). However, many governments have strived to minimize environmental damage in the hope of improving human health outcomes (Bryan & Ejumudo, 2011). This case characterizes the environmental damage in the Niger Delta region because the problem has created a bigger public health concern of increased emergence of new diseases, such as cancer and respiratory infections, which have arisen from air pollution, oil spills and contamination of water bodies. In response, the government has made significant strides in trying to arrest the rampant destruction of livelihoods through the introduction of new environmental management laws and through the establishment of commissions and task forces for addressing this crisis. Indeed, as Akhigbe (2013) observers, the Nigerian government has intervened in the crisis by setting up commissions and task forces to minimize environmental degradation and restore the livelihoods of residents of the Niger Delta region. The establishment of the 1987 Presidential Task Force and the 2001 Niger Development Commission are some measures undertaken by the government to minimize environmental degradation in the Niger Delta (Akhigbe, 2013). Auxiliary measures include the reinforcement of judicial systems to expedite environmental management cases and the provision of basic living materials, such as blankets and food, to families affected by oil spills and similar crises. While these government interventions have been in place for a while now, few researchers have investigated whether they have achieved their goals, or not. Furthermore, even fewer researchers have studied how these interventions have affected the health outcomes of residents of the Niger Delta. Therefore, there is a research gap in this area. However, as Bryan and Ejumudo (2011) observe, the success, or failure, of such interventions, mainly depends on the nature of the local communities. Furthermore, they also depend on the design of the interventions and the zeal of the Nigerian government to implement them. This paper proposes a quantitative research study to investigate the health impact of government interventions to manage environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the proposed study is to find out if existing interventions, to control environmental destruction in the Niger Delta region, have improved the health outcomes of its inhabitants. The Niger Delta region has suffered extensive environmental degradation from oil drilling activities that have occurred in the area since the 1950s (Bryan & Ejumudo, 2011). Gas flaring, oil spills, water contamination, and disruption of ecosystems are some environmentally destructive activities that have led to poor health outcomes for residents of the region (Ordinioha & Brisibe, 2013). Many researchers have highlighted the extensive scale of environmental destruction in the area by explaining how the oil drilling activities have minimized life expectancy, affected livelihoods, and led to the emergence of new diseases in the region (Ordinioha & Brisibe, 2013; Bryan & Ejumudo, 2011). Others have gone a step further and outlined specific recommendations that the Nigerian government could take to arrest the situation (Akhigbe, 2013; Rowland, 2015). Since the Niger Delta environmental crisis is an old problem, the Nigerian government, oil companies, and other stakeholders have made significant strides in managing the crisis. Most of these interventions include the formulation of new laws of environmental management and increased fines for oil companies that pollute the environment (among others) (Akhigbe, 2013). Although the government has sustained some of these interventions for a while, few researchers have investigated if they have improved the health outcomes for the people of the Niger Delta region. This paper proposes a research study to investigate this issue. This analysis would be useful to environmental policymakers because it would highlight significant areas of weakness, or success, in the formulation of environmental policies to improve the health outcomes of local populations. Academicians would also find the findings of this analysis useful because it would expand the existing body of knowledge regarding environmental management in the Niger Delta region.

Justification of Study

Research studies have often highlighted the link between environmental degradation and human health outcomes (Akhigbe, 2013; Rowland, 2015). This is why Sharma (2009) says that most problems concerning environmental change have significant implications for public health officials. Based on this background, she says that environmental changes contribute to the growing number of threats facing many human communities, worldwide (Sharma, 2009). This link has emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy environment for human communities to thrive. It also highlights the importance of formulating successful health laws and interventions and making sure that they contribute towards improving human health outcomes. This justification explains why this paper focuses on understanding if existing government interventions to control environmental destruction in the Niger Delta region have improved the health outcomes of its inhabitants.

Research Questions

  1. Have government task forces and development agencies in Nigeria reduced the scale of environmental destruction in the Niger Delta?
  2. Have legal changes in the enforcement of environmental laws improved the health outcomes of the residents of the Niger Delta?
  3. Has government involvement in the Niger Delta environmental crisis reduced the level of adverse health exposures to the people in the Niger Delta region?

Hypotheses

  1. Environmental laws in Nigeria have not reduced the scale of environmental destruction in the Niger Delta
  2. Legal changes in the enforcement of environmental laws have not improved the health outcomes of the residents of the Niger Delta region
  3. Government involvement in the Niger Delta ecological crisis has not reduced the level of adverse health exposures to the people in the region

Null Hypothesis

Existing interventions to control environmental destruction in the Niger Delta region have not changed the health outcomes of its inhabitants:

  • Dependent Variable: Health
  • Independent Variables: Implementation of Environmental Laws
  • Introduction of task forces and developmental commissions

Annotated Bibliography (Literature Review)

Emoyan, O., Akpoborie, I., & Akporhonor E. (2008). The Oil and Gas Industry and the Niger Delta: Implications for the Environment. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, 12(3), 29-37.

Emoyan, Akpoborie, and Akporhonor (2008) explored the causes and effects of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region by showing the impacts of the pollution, which included social destabilization, depletion of biodiversity, increased poverty rates, and elevated food risk. They also argued that although oil revenues were a major source of funds for the Nigerian government, social underdevelopment was a significant consequence of the environmental disaster. I chose this paper for this review because it explained the link between environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region and the socioeconomic characteristics of the area that characterized the health outcomes of its inhabitants. This focus emerged from the existing gap in the literature that has failed to explore the link between environmental degradation and the health outcomes of residents of the Niger Delta region (Emoyan et al., 2008).

Ordinioha, B., & Brisibe, S. (2013). The human health implications of crude oil spills in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: An interpretation of published studies. Niger Med J., 54(1), 10–16.

In this article, Ordinioha and Brisibe (2013) found that the health effects of oil spills in the Niger Delta region were widespread. They also recommended that health agencies should provide material help and long-term medical care to affected citizens. They made this recommendation as a short-term and long-term response to mitigating the health effects of environmental disasters in the Niger Delta region. Their study focused on filling a research gap that failed to explore the availability of adequate information concerning the health effects of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta. I chose this article for this review because it focused on the most severe form of pollution in the Niger Delta – oil spills. Furthermore, it elaborated on the health effects of environmental pollution in the Niger Delta region (Ordinioha & Brisibe, 2013).

Rowland, G. (2015). Air Pollution in the Niger Delta Area: Scope, Challenges and Remedies. Web.

In this article, Rowland (2015) investigated the effects of air pollution on the health of residents of the Niger Delta region. This article found out that gas flaring activities and air pollution, in the area, caused respiratory problems. It also discovered that cancer was the main emerging health problem in the area. Based on the extent of these health problems, the author recommended the adoption of a comprehensive adoption of pollution management program to mitigate the effects of the crisis (Rowland, 2015). The findings of this article filled a literature gap, which failed to highlight the comprehensive impact of air pollution on the health outcomes of residents of the Niger Delta region. Furthermore, there was scanty information regarding the deleterious impact of air pollution on the ecosystem of the Niger Delta region. I chose this paper for this review because of its focus on gas flaring as a significant type of pollution that affects residents of the Niger Delta region. Indeed, air pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems causing adverse health outcomes for people of this region.

Madubuko, C. (2014). Environmental Pollution: The Rise of Militarism and Terrorism in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. International Journal of Rural Law and Policy, 1(1), 1-11.

This article states that before the commercial exploitation of oil in the Niger Delta, its inhabitants had many positive health outcomes when they relied on agriculture and fishing. However, after the onset of such commercial exploits, the area started reporting poor clinical outcomes. The author blames this result on oil leaks, gas-flaring activities and the formation of acid rains, from sustained environmental pollution, as the leading causes of poor health outcomes (Madubuko, 2014). I chose this article for this review because it gives a background of the environmental problems in the Niger Delta region. For example, it explains the history of oil drilling and development in the Niger Delta region. Similarly, it highlights oil laws and the outcomes of government interventions on environmental degradation in the area. The contributions of this article focused on a significant research gap, which failed to highlight the relationship between positive health outcomes and the political developments (militarization and terrorism) in the region. This article filled this research gap.

Ajugwo, A. (2013). Negative Effects of Gas Flaring: The Nigerian Experience. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health, 1(1), 6-8.

In this article, Ajugwo (2013) sought to investigate the health effects of gas flaring activities by using Nigeria as a case study. He found out that his findings were similar to other findings from other parts of the world, which highlighted the negative effects of the practice. In detail, the author found that gas flaring affected the health outcomes of residents of the Niger Delta region through the incomplete combustion of gas flare. The author also found that adverse clinical outcomes included cancer and neurological disorders. Developmental and reproductive health issues were also common findings that characterized his study. Consequently, the researcher proposed that the vice should stop by imposing hefty fines on gas companies that pollute the environment this way. I chose this article for this review because some people have proposed the use of Liquid Petroleum Gas as an alternative source of energy in Africa, without understanding its holistic health effects. This article sought to fill this research gap.

Bryan, K., & Ejumudo, O. (2011). Air Pollution and Health Challenges in the Niger Delta: Desirability of a Collaborative Policy and Action. Africana, 5(3), 162-190.

This article explored the link between increased disease prevalence and poor socioeconomic development indices in the Niger Delta region. Through focused group discussion and interviews, the authors found that the adverse health outcomes in the Niger Delta region and the continued environmental pollution that occurred in the state came from policy gaps that promoted a culture of poor government performance that abated the crisis (Bryan & Ejumudo, 2011). Based on this challenge, the authors proposed the inclusion of a collaborative policy environment for increasing collaboration among stakeholders to stop the widespread environmental degradation in the region. I chose this research article for this review because it drew the link between poor health policies and poor clinical outcomes in the Niger Delta region. Its contribution also addressed a significant knowledge gap, explaining why, for a long time, the Nigerian government has been unable to control the vast scale of environmental destruction within its borders.

United Nations Environmental Program. (2011). Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland. Web.

This article explored the adverse health effects of oil drilling activities in one area of the Niger Delta region – Ogoniland. The study found that most residents of the area suffered adverse health outcomes because of soil and groundwater contamination. The author found that environmental pollution exposed local communities to carcinogenic compounds, such as benzene, which is found in all samples of air taken in the region. I chose this article because it provided a comprehensive understanding of the health problems facing the people of the Niger Delta because it explored policy and economic issues that affected health outcomes in the region. Furthermore, the United Nations Environmental Program (2011) undertook the study, at the request of the Nigerian government, thereby giving it legitimacy. The primary research gap that this article sought to fill was the absent role of institutional issues in abating the environmental crisis in the Niger Delta region – an area neglected by many researchers.

Oviasuyi, P., & Uwadie J. (2010). The Dilemma of Niger-Delta Region as the Oil Producing States of Nigeria. Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 16(11), 110-126.

This article explained the dilemma facing the Niger Delta region because environmental and health issues conflicted with the economic benefits to be gained from oil drilling activities. The researchers found out that there was the widespread political ineffectiveness of local government officials when controlling the environmental destruction happening in the region (Oviasuyi & Uwadie, 2010). Consequently, they proposed a 12-stage strategy that would solve the political problems contributing to environmental destruction and its associated adverse health effects for citizens of the region. I chose to include this research article in this review because I believe the environmental and health problems facing the residents are political. Furthermore, this article explains the gist of the problem, which is the competing environmental and economic interests of the people of Nigeria. This article focused on teaching how to overcome these issues. It also strived to fill a significant research gap – understanding the role of political entities in abating the environmental and health crisis in the Niger Delta region.

References

Ajugwo, A. (2013). Negative Effects of Gas Flaring: The Nigerian Experience. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health, 1(1), 6-8.

Akhigbe, J. (2013). The State and Development Interventions in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(10), 255-263.

Bryan, K., & Ejumudo, O. (2011). Air Pollution and Health Challenges in the Niger Delta: The desirability of a Collaborative Policy and Action. Africana, 5(3), 162-190.

Emoyan, O., Akpoborie, I., & Akporhonor E. (2008). The Oil and Gas Industry and the Niger Delta: Implications for the Environment. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, 12(3), 29-37.

Madubuko, C. (2014). Environmental Pollution: The Rise of Militarism and Terrorism in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. International Journal of Rural Law and Policy, 1(1), 1-11.

Ordinioha, B., & Brisibe, S. (2013). The human health implications of crude oil spills in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: An interpretation of published studies. Niger Med J., 54(1), 10–16.

Oviasuyi, P., & Uwadie J. (2010). The Dilemma of Niger-Delta Region as Oil Producing The states of Nigeria. Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 16(11), 110-126.

Rowland, G. (2015). Air Pollution in the Niger Delta Area: Scope, Challenges and Remedies. Web.

Sharma, P. (2009). Degradation of Global Environment Affects Human Health To A Large Extent. Web.

United Nations Environmental Program. (2011). Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland. Web.

Cite this paper

Reference

NerdyBro. (2022, July 7). The Health Impact of Government Interventions. Retrieved from https://nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/

Reference

NerdyBro. (2022, July 7). The Health Impact of Government Interventions. https://nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/

Work Cited

"The Health Impact of Government Interventions." NerdyBro, 7 July 2022, nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/.

References

NerdyBro. (2022) 'The Health Impact of Government Interventions'. 7 July.

References

NerdyBro. 2022. "The Health Impact of Government Interventions." July 7, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/.

1. NerdyBro. "The Health Impact of Government Interventions." July 7, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/.


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NerdyBro. "The Health Impact of Government Interventions." July 7, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-health-impact-of-government-interventions/.