Toxic waste has been dumped in a farming town in southeast Nigeria’s restive oil-producing Delta region, a state government official and a community leader said on Wednesday.
The community leader, Collins Edema, president of the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, said the waste was dangerous to both agricultural produce and aquatic life.
It was dumped in Koko, a town in the Warri north local government district of Delta state, said Thankgod Seibi, special assistant to the state’s governor on community development.
“The waste was brought in from a foreign country into Nigeria and dumped at Koko. The state government has not done anything about it yet,” he said. Seibi did not give details of the foreign country.
Pollution has been a source of tension across the Niger Delta, which often erupts into violence. The poverty-stricken region produces most of the OPEC member’s oil, the source of two-thirds of government revenue, but sees little of the money.
That has led militants, most recently the Niger Delta Avengers, to carry out attacks on oil pipelines and facilities in a bid to drive the government to agree to a greater share of Nigeria’s oil dollars for the region.