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The Ikot Ada Udo oil spill incident which occurred in the year 2007 after a facility failure or perceived sabotage of the Ibibio 1 Oil Well head located in Ikot Ada Udo Village of Ikot Abasi LGA, Akwa Ibom Sate - Nigeria. The spill resulted in the discharge of remarkable quantity of crude oil into a majorly rural farmland of the village communities. This drastically affected the ecosystem and well being of the inhabitants.

Legal and Administrative Framework
The EMR was undertaken in compliance with the provisions of the relevant regulatory framework stipulated by the then Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), now the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMENV) Act No 58 (1988), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR,2002), relevant international conventions¬¬¬ and De-Mbarukas Policy on Health, Safety and Environment (HSE).
Objectives of Environmental Monitoring Report (EMR)
The EMR is intended to identify the existing environmental conditions, describe the spill incident, identify and evaluate impacts, recommend mitigation measures to eliminate or decrease identified adverse impacts and plausibly restore the affected ecosystem to a clean, safe, usable and environmentally acceptable condition.
The specific objectives of the EMR are to:
a) Determine the baseline conditions of the biophysical, socio-economic and health conditions of the affected communities
b) Determine the extent, magnitude and concentration of residual pollutants emanating from the spill incident.
c) Determine and evaluate the impacts of the oil spill on the environment
d) Identify and evaluate the potential social-economic effects of the spill incident on the communities including impacts on cultural properties, social infrastructures, natural resources and impact on inhabitant’s lifestyles/ values
e) Identify hazards and risks that may result from the oil spill and evaluation of local population exposure to these hazards.
f) Advise on the restoration process of the contaminated sites after spill control and Management.

SPDC Ibibio 1 Oil Well Head Spill Incident
Ikot Ada Udo where the spill occurred is a village located in Ikpa Nung Asang Clan, Ikot Abasi LGA of Akwa Ibom State. Crude oil spillages from the SPDC Ibibio 1 well was first reported in 1997 and re-occurred in 1999, 2004 and then in 2007 when the spill was controlled and managed by SPDC under the watchful eyes of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Community Representatives, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the public.

Prior to the control, the facility consisted of an unfenced well head located in a community farmland which made it possible for the spill to spread uncontrollably. Post Impact Assessment (PIA) revealed that some components of the affected ecosystem was drastically impacted and reports from inhabitants of the affected communities have revealed that the impacts have persisted an indication that the ecosystem has not been restored 7 years after oil spill control and management by SPDC. This Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation study was conducted to ascertain the health status of the ecosystem, 7 years after the control and management of the oil spill by SPDC.
Baseline Environmental Status
The de facto status and sensitivities of environmental characteristics of the oil spill impacted environment as indicated by the various ecological components have been carefully assessed through a detailed fieldwork and by consulting existing literature.

Climate and Meteorology
Two regimes of climate exist in the area and their conditions are variable usually dominated by two contrasting seasons; the dry and wet seasons. The wet season usually spreads from April to October while the dry season is from November to March. However, the prevailing temperature during sampling exercise was 35.7 oc with slight increase at about 10590hr. The air was fairly humid with relative humidity at 1044 hr. and was measured to be 67%. Similarly, at 0910 hr., the value was observed to be 65% and then increased again at 1110hr. On the other hand, winds were light and moderate particularly during the morning hours.

Air Quality and Noise
The results of the air quality measurement showed compliance with both the DPR and FMEnv statutory limits. NOx, CO, SOx, and H2S were below the detection limits of the measuring instruments. The recorded levels of VOCs ranged between 0.1ppm and 0.4ppm.These values were below Federal Ministry of Environment limits of 160µg/m3 for daily average of 3-hourly values in Nigeria. Detection of VOCs in the study is an indication that non methane hydrocarbon persists in the impacted site. The noise levels ranged from 33.1 – 48.8 dB(A), and these were all lower than the DPR/FEPA limits of 90dB (A) for 8h continuous exposure.

Soil Studies
Soil Physicochemistry
The impacted soil was predominantly sandy. The pH range of 5.71 – 5.92 revealed a strongly acid soil and acid soils are known to exhibit intensive leaching, low exchangeable basic cations content and slow microbial activity. The soil is slightly more acidic than samples from the control site. These attributes plus the high total petroleum contents (67 – 123 mg/Kg) of soil would drastically hinder nutrient cycling and the general fertility of the soil. With ranges of 12.9 – 16.6%, the TOC level is more than 12% an indication that it is majorly derived from mineral sources. The levels of Ca, K, Na and Mg detected in the impacted soils were low though within acceptable limits in tropical soils. The THC contents of soil in Ikot Ada Udo were much higher than the method detectable limit of 10 mg/kg, indicating the soil is still laden with hydrocarbons and residual loads of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected in soils near the swamp and well head. The mean PAHs levels of 0.012 detected in the environment may be of eco-toxicological significance in future. The trace metals contents of the soil analyzed except Fe are generally below the critical levels to constitute hazard. Elevated levels of Fe, Cd, Cr, Ni and Pb were detected when compared to background or control levels. The total iron concentration was very high with values ranging from 3563 to 4100 mg/kg for surface soil samples. The high iron concentration may not be unconnected with high level of petroleum contaminates in soil. High levels of iron may result in iron toxicity to crops.
Soil Microbiology
Analysis of the soil samples from the oil spill impacted environment showed that the heterotropic bacteria (HEB) count for the stations ranged from 2.4 x 105 to 7.2 x 106cfu/g. The total coliform count (TCC) of the soil samples ranged from 1.9 x 102 to 1.4 x 103cfu/g, while the fungal density (HEF) ranged from 1.9 x 102 to 4.3 x 104cfu/g. The oil degrading bacteria (ODB) also showed differences among the different sample stations with a range of 3.2 x 104 to 6.6 x 106cfu/g. The soil is generally characterized by high ODB/HEB ratios (0.2 – 0.9) which indicate high hydrocarbons level in soil.

Aquatic Studies
Surface Water Physicochemistry
Analytical results of the surface water chemistry indicated that the Aya River in the spill impacted environment is typically freshwater ecosystem. Surface water temperature exhibited narrow spatial variations (27.4 – 27.7 oc). Apparent water colours for mid-stream (5 hazen) and down-stream (5.67 hazen) locations were relatively low depicting low load of suspended solids. The pH exhibited narrow amplitude of variation (6.51 – 6.77) typical of freshwater ecosystem. The pH levels recorded were not within the WHO (1984) recommended range of 6.5 – 8.50 for fishing. Conductivity levels were generally
high in all the samples (range: 12.34 - 12.34 µScm-1) indicating low ionic richness. Total hardness was highly variable (0.41 – 3.00mg/l) and did not indicate any significant contribution from causative ions. Dissolved oxygen in water samples was high with range of 5.87 – 5.91 mg/l indicating high oxygenation. The concentrations of nitrite nitrogen (NO3 – N) were very low indicating no nitrite pollution. The nutrients: chloride, nitrate, sulphate, fluoride and phosphate were very low but varied slightly between sample locations; however the levels appeared adequate to maintain a varied planktonic biota. The total hydrocarbon concentrations (THC) and oil and grease levels in water samples from the water body were negligible, <0.01 indicating remarkably low hydrocarbon input. In general, the physicochemical attributes of Aya River were generally low and apparently within the limits allowed by the regulatory agencies (FEPA 1991).
Trace Metals in Surface Water
The results of the analysis of heavy metals in water samples obtained from Aya River close to the Ibibio 1 well head showed that metals concentrations varied remarkably and in most cases were undetected. For example Cd, Cr, Cd, Pb, Ni and V were very low and generally below detectable limits. Iron (Fe) levels in water samples collected from the water body including the down-stream location were also within the acceptable limits.
Sediment Physicochemistry
The physicochemical characteristics of the Aya River sediment samples showed the pH values recorded ranged between 5.33 and 5.84 with mean of 5.61. These values depicted acidic conditions and are consistent with reports of previous surveys of freshwater systems in the Niger Delta region. The total organic carbon (TOC) of sediment gives an indication of the number of carbon containing compounds in the sample. In this survey the TOC levels of the sediment samples were 0.09 – 1.3 % with a mean of 0.45%. Levels of THC in the sediment samples were below method detection limit of 10 mg/kg. The particle size distribution analysis showed that the freshwater sediment samples were predominantly sandy with mean concentrations of 3.73%, 16.47% and 79.8% of clay, silt and sand respectively. There was no gravel content in the sediment samples. Chromium, iron and lead were detected in the sediment. Cadmium level was below the method detection limit.

Surface Water and Sediment Microbiology
Microbiological analyses of the freshwater body of Aya River found in the study environment have revealed that variations in microbial loads between sample stations were remarkable. In surface water samples the bacterial densities ranged from 1.2 x 103 to 1.9 x 105cfu/ml while the fungal populations ranged between 3.4 x 101 and 2.2 x 103 cfu/ml. The sediments haboured higher densities of organic decomposers with range of 3.6 x 105 to 3.2 x 107 cfu/g and 2.4 x 102 to 1.6 x104 cfu/g for heterotrophic bacteria and fungi respectively. The present status of heterotrophic microbial densities indicates a fertile aquatic environment. Mean population ranges of 1.2 x 103 cfu/ml – 3.1 x 104 cfu/ml and 1.3 x 102 - 2.2 x104 cfu/g of enteric bacteria (coliforms) were recorded for the surface water and sediment samples respectively. The incidence of coliform bacteria in surface water and sediment samples were low and an indication of high hygienic status of inhabitants of Ikot Ada Udo Community. However, the sediment samples obtained from the river harbored thousands of oil degrading bacteria (3.1 x 103 - 2.5 x105cfu/g). The high densities of oil degrading bacteria and fungi in the sediment are a pointer to the high hydrocarbons content of the “sink” in the impacted environment. The Eka Ndioho had much higher loads of oil degrading bacteria and fungi in the water and sediment samples analyzed. The proliferation of oil degraders in the swamp is pointer to the availability of hydrocarbons which serve as the source carbon and energy for microbial growth in the environment.

Vegetation Health and Wildlife
The existing climatic factors in Ikot Ada Udo would have favoured luxuriant tropical rainforest with teeming populations of fauna and extremely high terrestrial and aquatic biomass endemic to it. However, both the vegetation and the fauna are largely affected by the 2007 oil spill. Close to the Ibibio 1 well head, the native vegetation has been completely replaced by secondary forest of predominantly resilient shrubs such as Awolowo. The assessed vegetation was not healthy although there are patches of healthy forest areas located distance from the Ibibio 1 oil well. However some common forest trees, fruit-trees and crop plants diseases were detected. The most noticeable disease symptoms among trees, is the leaf spot disease associated with wild pear, oranges and mango. The other fungal diseases noticeable were vascular wilt of banana and plantain from which Fasarium and Verticillium were isolated. Fusarial wilt was also noticed on few cocoyams, okra and pepper stands, while downy mildew disease was noticed on citrus plants. Few bacterial and viral agents or disease conditions were detected. The viral infections encountered are mosiac in cassava, pineapple wilt in pineapple. However, no disease epidemic was detected although the trees and crops exhibited diverse symptoms of diseases caused by fungi bacteria and viruses. There are severe cases of nutritional and environmental induced diseases such as iron toxicity, necrotic dead of tubers; environmental wilting commonly associated with hydrocarbons contaminated soils. Nitrogen-deficiency induced atrophy, photo-oxidation and asphyxiation were also observed. The fauna comprised of species belonging to the chordate groups - Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia and Amphibia. The invertebrate groups were dominated by the phylum Arthropoda. The lower animals have been seriously harmed by the hydrocarbon contaminates.

Educational trend of inhabitants of Ikot Ada Udo community reveals the usual pattern: dovetailing of educational attainment from the primary to the high educational levels. It seems that educational attainment among household heads for now reveals a fairly high percentage of primary and secondary attainment. The predominant occupation of the people is farming, while fishing, hunting and trading also engage a sizeable number (some combine these occupations) of the inhabitants. The socio-economics of the community has been seriously impacted by the spill.

Potential and Associated Impacts
Some of the ways in which the oil spill from Ibibio 1 Oil Well Head may adversely impact on the environmental attributes and humans health in the environment include:
a) Poor soil fertility due to reduced heterotrophic activities of microorganisms and nutrient cycling. This may lead to nutrient deficiency, especially nitrogen and phosphorus deficiency resulting in stunted growth or atrophy in crop plants
b) Contamination of soil with hydrocarbons and potential loss of soil fertility due to it adverse effect on organic wastes mineralization and nitrogen fixation. Direct toxicity of hydrocarbons to some biota such as crops and sensitive animals like snails, millipede and earthworms are apparent in the impacted ecosystem
c) Exposure to residual loads of PAHs and metals such as chromium, lead and cadmium in the environment for long period may pose serious cancer risks in future
d) Excessive iron concentrations in soil has adversely affected plant growth and its high accumulation by the vegetable is pointer to potential human risk
e) Contamination of local water supplies (surface and groundwater bodies) by hydrocarbons
f) Deterioration of water ecosystem in Eka Ndioho may lead to fish mortalities and loss in quality of clay used in making traditional pots and plates

Recommended Mitigation Measures
The impacts can be mitigated if:
a) Complete remediation of the impacted soil as pilot study has shown that the oil spill site was not properly remediated
b) Possible impact on potable water supplies is regularly monitored and alternative drinking water sources provided
c) Compensation paid for losses

Conclusion and Recommendation
The potential environmental contaminats assessed in this monitoring study have that most of the potential air contaminants measured were low and some below the equipment detection limits of <0.01ppm thus, showing a good compliance status with the statutory FMENV/DPR regulatory limits. However the soil contaminates such as hydrocarbons, total organic carbon and PAHs were high in some locations at the time of sampling. In conclusion, the result shows that the 2007 oil spill from Ibibio 1 Oil Well Head had and still has serious impacts on Ikot Ada Udo community and its environs. The levels of hydrocarbons in soil environment are unsafe and have capability of causing adverse impact on the ecosystem and human health. It is recommended that mitigation measures are embarked upon to restore the environment to a healthy and safe status while adequate compensation is paid to the affected community to alleviate their suffering.

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