Niger Delta Ecosystems: the ERA Handbook/Prologue



ERA is constantly asked for information about the Niger Delta, based upon its work in the area since 1993. Thus we are issuing a first edition of the ERA Handbook to the Niger Delta, despite the book's many imperfections. Moreover, although ERA by no means claim to have the last word on the subject of the Niger Delta, we feel we have a duty to make available all the information we have to as wide a public as we can. The aim of the book is two-fold:

  • First, to enable anyone working in the Niger Delta to become confident about the ecology of the area and to feel able to make objective and scientifically secure judgements about the environmental problems which the area is facing
  • Second, to present an accurate picture of the area to anyone who is interested in it, for whatever reason, and who is unable to visit.

Please bear with the numerous typographic errors and with the scarcity of illustrations.


This online edition is dedicated to the late Oronto N.Douglas of Okoroba. He insisted on facilitating the 1993 Niger Delta survey on which the handbook is based; without him, it could never have been achieved.

Oronto qualified in law in Port Harcourt, and was a founder member of ERA. He subsequently studied environmental law as a Chevening Scholar at De Montfort University, Leicester, before returning to Nigeria and becoming well known as a human rights activist in the Delta. Oronto was also a poet.


A great deal of participatory information was gathered during the ERA surveys of 1993 and 1994. It is hoped that all this will be included as an appendix to the second edition of the book. Meanwhile it is available on request.


Finally, we would like to thank the following individuals and organisations: river-scouts Escort, Brownson, Clarkson and Elegy, Babatunde, Caroline Knight, Marie Bystrom, Dr. Justine Dunn, George Frynas, Liza Gadsby, Sir John Gunston, Phil and Frances Hall, Dr. Miriam Isoun, Ronnie Siakor, Prof. Turner Isoun, Tasso Leventis, Dr. Forbes McLean, Bronwen Mamby, Judy Nwonodi, Dr. Julian Caldecott, Chidi Odinkalu, Osas Osas, Laura Robinson, Chief and Mrs. S.T. Owei, County Biomoni, Goodnews Barabura, Alan Daniel, Joseph Onwukwen, Chief Fabian Ndine, Gibson Beke, Bari Kumbe, Oliver Ogbopina, Emmaneul Bonny, The West Brothers, Doris Douglas, Sammy Boy, Friends of the Earth International, The Netherlands Committee of the International Union of Nature Conservation, Pro-Natural International and many others.


  1. • Map 1 Africa7
  2. • Map 2 West Africa8
  3. • Map 3a Nigeria9
  4. • Map 3b The Niger Delta10
  5. • Map 4 Ecozones (approximate)11
  6. • Map 5 Oil and Gas Infrastructure12
  7. • Map 6 Ogoni13
  8. • Map 7 Botem14
  9. • Map 8 Anyama to Brass15
  10. • Map 9 Anyama16
  11. • Map 10 Akassa17
  12. • Map 11 Okoroba to Nembe18
  13. • Map 12 Okoroba19
  14. • Map 13 Port Harcourt20
Map 1 Africa Biogeography.jpg
Map 2 West Africa biomes.jpg
Map 3A Nigeria.jpg
Map 3B Delta.jpg
Map 4 Ecozones.jpg
Map 5 Oil&Gas.jpg
Map 6 Ogoni.jpg
Map 7 Botam.jpg
Map 8 Anyama to Brass.jpg
Map 9 Anyama.jpg
Map 10 Akassa.jpg
Map 11 Okoroba to Nembe.jpg
Map 12 Okoroba.jpg
Map 13 Port Harcourt.jpg
Fig I Some Root Forms 22
Fig II Propagules 23
Fig III Tidal Step 24
Fig IIIA Sand Barrier Islands 25
Fig IV Fresh-water Landscape 26
Fig V Idealised Soil Profile 27
Fig VI Accumulation of Oil 28
Fig VII Diagram of an Oil Well 29
Fig I Some Root Forms.jpg
Fig II Propagules.jpg
Fig III Tidal Step.jpg
Fig IIIA Sand-Barrier IslandsMODIFIED20170819-.jpg
Fig IV Fresh-water landscape.jpg
Fig V Idealised Soil Profile.jpg
Fig VI Accumulation of Oil.jpg
Fig VII Diagram of Oil WellMODIFIED20170819-.jpg