$1 billion needed for Nigeria oil clean-ups
The environmental restoration of the Ogoniland region in Nigeria could prove to be the world's biggest oil clean-up.
That's according to a landmark report released by the United Nations Environment Programme-UNEP.
UNEP recommends that one billion dollars be paid by the oil industry and the Nigerian government to restore the local environment over the next five years.
The report covers 50 years of oil operations in the region and examines 200 locations.
Mounkaila Goumandakoye, UNEP's Africa Director, says the pollution has seeped deeper and further than anyone suspected.
"We found that in at least 10 Ogoniland communities where drinking water is contaminated, we find high levels of hydrocarbons. We also discovered that the impact of oil on mangrove vegetation has been disastrous".
UNEP says it could take 25 to 30 years to clean up the affected areas.
Ogoniland gained world-wide attention because of the late environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was also a native of the region.