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Health risks from environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

Adekola, Josephine; Fischbacher-Smith, Moira; Fischbacher-Smith, Denis; Adekola, Olalekan


Josephine Adekola

Moira Fischbacher-Smith

Denis Fischbacher-Smith

Olalekan Adekola


© The Author(s) 2016. Local communities within oil producing countries in Africa often face formidable environmental challenges that generate conflicts and concerns around exploitation, environmental impact, and health risks. A key feature of these concerns has been the paucity of effective risk communication mechanisms and the impact this has on the public understanding of risk. Risk communication has been identified as a significant factor in explaining why the health consequences of environmental degradation remain unabated in oil producing communities. This paper evaluates health risk communication in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study is based on 69 interviews conducted in the Niger Delta region. The paper argues that the health of the local population is being impaired by risk incidences relating to oil and gas exploration activities, the effects of which are amplified by inadequate communication of health risks to the public. The study argues for and suggests ways in which health risk communication processes can be improved in the Niger Delta. A multi-dimensional framework for public health risk communication is developed as a means of advancing understanding, practice, and policy.


Adekola, J., Fischbacher-Smith, M., Fischbacher-Smith, D., & Adekola, O. (2017). Health risks from environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 35(2), 334-354.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 7, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 8, 2016
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Journal Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Print ISSN 0263-774X
Electronic ISSN 1472-3425
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Pages 334-354
Keywords environmental degradation, health risk, Niger Delta, risk communication
Public URL
Publisher URL


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