Destruction of Coral Reefs and Underwater Habitats

The Chad-Cameroon and Pipeline project was a four point two billion project that caused a lot of controversy with nearly eighty environmental and human rights activists. The project was essentially a 1,070-kilometer pipeline, to transport oil to a floating storage vessel off the coast of Cameroon. The board of directors still took a unanimous vote approving the project, expressing that the oil would benefit Chad and give them the best chance of getting out of poverty. With the World Bank participation secured, the project had began. The project operator, ExxonMobil and partners, Chevron and Petronas started to drill. The pipeline has affected the environment in Chad but mostly in Cameroon. The largest affected area is a small town named Kribi which consists of much coastline in Cameroon.

The oil from the pipeline is starting to degrade the coral reef and the underwater habitat. Not only is the coral reef being affected but all the fish that live near it, this hurts local fisherman that depend on fish for their main source of food. The involvement of international non-governmental institutions was the main source of aid employed here. Many non-governmental organizations have been involved with Chad and Cameroon before the pipeline project. These organizations have expressed concerns about the pipeline project before it had even began. Many local non-governmental organizations were meeting with different representatives from the World Bank and the other oil companies. After the project was completed, these non-governmental organizations played a large role with the documentation of the problems that occurred during the process of the project.

A few of these non-governmental organizations are Friends of the Earth and Cathlotic Relief Services. Friends of the Earth is a transnational grassroots environmental network that focuses on environmental advocacy for groups all over the world. Friends of the Earth has been involved in the pipeline project by monitoring it since construction began. The network along with other advocacy groups reported that the World Bank had engaged in projects that are harmful to the environment such as the pipeline project. Another non-governmental organization that has had a big impact to Chad and Cameroon is the Cathlotic Relief Service.

This service is a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing relief to the pipeline project taking place in Chad and Cameroon. During the project, the biggest concern of the Cathlotic Relief Service was the mismanagement of the funds by Chad and Cameroon as well as the inadequate polices the World Bank is putting into place. The Cathlotic Relief Service has created a project to help monitor the pipeline project to make sure the funds are being put to sufficient use and for the communities surrounding the pipe. This initiative is called the Cameroon Chad Pipeline Monitoring Project.

The involvement of these few non-governmental organizations helping out the countries of Chad and Cameroon has been very beneficial for both the organizations and for the well being of the countries given the past pipeline project. These organizations are nonprofit and dedicated to helping the people of the community instead of focusing on wealth. The crisis that the pipeline project has caused in these countries is disturbing but lucky that there were types of organizations with their best interest in mind. The type of aid that The Cathlotic Relief Service and Friends of the Earth was very promising and more beneficial than the others.

The pipeline that was supposed to be helping better the community making things easier is now under scrutiny for potentially damaging the life of the people it was supposed to help. There have been two reports that the people who live in Chad and Cameroon have made to show the negative affects the pipeline is doing so far. The water supplies have been damaged, hunters have lost their hunting lands, farmers have lost land and crops so they no longer have an income. After the pipeline was constructed in 2003, two reported oil spills have occurred at the transit site 18 km (11 mi) off Cameroon’s coast. The first one took place on 15 January 2007. COTCO representatives reported that the leak was detected within a few hours and that the volume of spill was not adequate to cause any damage, while local fishermen reported to have seen signs of oil ashore.

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