Gas Flaring in the Niger Delta has been an issue of global concern for decades and is widely regarded as an environmental, social and economic catastrophe. This article from the Wall Street Journal presents a useful overview.
A 2005 report by the Environmental Rights Action (ERA) and the Climate Justice Programme (CJP) quantified the impact of toxic air pollutants emitted by gas flaring in the Niger Delta. Researchers estimate that gas flaring at 17 onshore flow stations in Nigeria’s Bayelsa State is likely to cause 49 premature deaths, respiratory illnesses in 5,000 children, 120,000 asthma attacks, and eight additional cases of cancer each year. These conservative estimates would be amplified if other locations of gas flaring outside Bayelsa State and other toxic pollutants emitted by gas flaring and venting were included.