International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

E. D. Oruonye

Oil exploration in sub Saharan Africa is characterized by environmental degradation resulting from oil spillage, gas flaring, deforestation and other negative practices that have for long, characterized the activities of multinational oil companies in the region. All stages of oil activity from exploration, drilling to transportation, affect the natural environment significantly. These environmentally-negative practices have consistently endangered the lives of the inhabitants. Multinational companies are the main engine of globalization and have over the years, dominated oil exploration activities in sub Saharan Africa. The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the environmental impacts of the activities of multinational oil companies in sub Saharan Africa. Data for this study were generated through secondary (desk) research, to identify existing literature about the impacts of multinational oil companies on oil-producing countries located in Sub-Saharan Africa. The result of the study shows that Sub-Saharan Africa has rich deposits of crude oil that is following a process of resource exploitation, which appears to intensify with globalization. With increasing emphasis on globalization, trade liberalization and the discovery of new oil fields and construction of oil pipeline, the environment in sub Saharan Africa is under serious threat. Loss of species/biodiversity, destruction of habitats, environmental dislocation, impoverishment of host communities and human rights abuses all constitute environmental degradation. This study recommends that the multinational oil companies operating in the region should strengthen their corporate social responsibility with the host communities. The governments of sub Saharan African countries should require oil companies to provide all the necessary social infrastructures before the commencement of oil exploitation. This is to ensure that their operations will not affect the environment and the local population negatively.

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