Ecological effects and perceptions of victims of pipeline explosion in a developing country.
Petroleum pipeline network is a critical infrastructure that should be protected because of its importance and the danger of fire disaster and ecosystem disruption if unprotected. However, the procedure for the management of the pipeline in Nigeria is probably faulty, and we think that this accounts for the multiple occurrences of pipeline fires in Nigeria between 1998 and 2007. Our study involves the use of satellite imageries, ecological sampling, questionnaire and personal interaction with some of the victims of the December 2006 pipeline fire in Ilado-Odo community in Lagos State, Nigeria. We attributed the causes of pipeline fires to poor pipeline network monitoring, poor communication and transportation in the vulnerable communities, and the inability of the pipeline management agency to ensure adequate community participation. We found that the biotic and abiotic components of the Ilado-Odo community were severely impaired, and we think that the impact may last for a long time if there is no post-disaster recovery programme. We conclude that the present method of labour-intensive approach to pipeline monitoring in Nigeria can promote further development of organised crime as explained by the Queer Ladder concept. We therefore recommend better tracking system, enhanced communication and transport infrastructure, as well as the review of the existing right-of-way regulations, and their strict enforcement around all critical infrastructures.