Health Risks and Challenges of Rural Farmers in Crude Oil Producing Communities in Imo State, Nigeria
Health risks and challenges of rural farmers in Izombe crude oil producing communities in Imo State, Nigeria were analysed. Sixty-four farmers were randomly selected from Izombe communities. Descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency and percentages were the analytical tools used. Results showed that majority of the farmers were between 30 - 40 years (57.14%) and mainly male folks. 55.5% of them were farmers, cultivated cassava, yam, cocoyam, melon etc. Also, 20.63% were involved in craftsmanship activities such as bicycle mechanics, plumber, driving, etc. Only 1.59% of them do businesses with the oil drilling company. Majority had income level of less than ₦ 500,000.00 per annum with 88.67%. 40% of the people had Blood Pressure (BP)below 120/80 which is ‘abnormal’, 30 of them had BP within 120/80 which is ‘normal’. 75% of them had high risk of hearing problems due to noise and vibrations from industrial activities in the area. Also, 94% stated that cancer related health problems would likely be a problem. Problems of reduction in crop yield due to degradation of farmland a major cause of food insecurity and its associated health problem like malnutrition was 100%. Oil companies should adhere strictly to international best practices in carrying out crude oil exploration and production activities to reduce negative impacts of its activities.
Keywords - Challenges, Crude Oil, Health Risks, Rural Farmer, Communities, Imo State