Author(s): EE Nkwocha, EC PatMbano
Many rural communities in the Nigeria Delta Region have been exposed to the flaring of Associated (AG) gas due to increased extraction of petroleum in the area. The study aimed at assessing the effect of gas flaring on the built environment using buildings as the main observed objects. Two rural communities (Obrikom and Omoku) were used for the case-control study. The study, carried out within a period of 11 months, combined modeled and measured estimates, considered emissions inventory and location data and combined expert judgment to assess possible effects of gas flaring on a sample of 106 buildings. Results shows that SO2, NO2 and PM10 were the major pollutants that may have acted as causative agents of the observed impacts (corrosion of roof tops, coloration of walls, leakage of roof tops etc), due to their toxic properties. There was high positive correlation between pollution levels and the level of impact on the sampled buildings (OR = 3.2, 95%, C.I. 1.3 – 6.7). The study concluded that epidemiological studies on the communities around gas flaring points have become imperative to determine the health effects from continuous exposure.