Water Pollution, Blue Economy and Environmental Sustainability in the Niger Delta
Despite numerous scholarly articles on the impact of water pollution and environmental sustainability, oil exploration continues to reduce annual yield, crop harvest and soil nutrients, which leads to stunted crop growth, increased food prices, and a low standard of living. Aside from its impact on agricultural activities, its environmental effects such as flooding, destroying wild lands, and disrupting wildlife habitat remain an enigma necessitating this study. The study’s overarching goal was to investigate the link between water pollution, the blue economy, and environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta Region. Specifically, the research work made a comparative analysis between water pollution, blue economy and environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta Region and examined the impact of environmental institutions in reducing water pollution and environmental degradation in the region. It also registered a post COVID-19 evidence of the current situation in the region. The qualitative data relied on a well-structured questionnaire that were physically administered by the researchers to the respondents within the selected communities in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers state. We distributed 500 questionnaires to respondents, 483 of which were completed and used in the study, yielding a 96.6% response rate. The questionnaire was divided into two sections: demographic information about the respondent and questions about the study’s specific objectives. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation analysis and simple percentages were computed using SPSS 24 and findings from the analysis of variance showed that there was a significant relationship between water pollution, blue economy and environmental sustainability in Niger Delta Region. Similarly, a correlation analysis was computed to assess the impact of environmental institutions in reducing water pollution and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta Region. The correlation coefficient of (r = 31.9) shows a weak relationship between environmental institutions and water pollution in Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Though, the sig (.001) shows that the relationship is significant. It was recommended among others that government should monitor and ensure that oil explorers (engineers) tighten bolts on their engine to prevent oil leaks, replace cracked or worn hydraulic lines and fittings before they fail, outfit their engine with an oil tray or drip pan and create their own bilge sock out of oil absorbent pads to prevent oily water discharge.