Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


The prevalence of abusive environmental practices in Nigeria and the impunity with which they are perpetuated has generated increased concern globally and among the populace. Reproductive health and environmental health are intertwined. There has been increased concern about the adverse impact of environmental contaminants on fertility and reproduction. For example, epidemiological studies indicate that environmental exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals is associated with human diseases and disabilities. Such exposure to environmental contaminants can be through air, water, land, and the workplace. In Nigeria, infant and maternal health prospects are still shrouded in controversy due to the unreliability of data and rot endemic to the reproductive health care system which is attributable to corruption, ignorance, poverty, illiteracy, and poor infrastructural development. Nigeria’s public health care system encompasses federal, state, and communal hospital and health care centers. There also exists a plethora of environmental laws and regulations to protect public health and ensure sustainable utilization of environmental resources.

Despite these efforts, conditions harmful to reproductive health like cough, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, tetanus, tuberculosis, influenza, hepatitis, yellow fever, and small pox thrive. This prevalence of harmful diseases and conditions is due, in part, to air and water pollution and dumping of carcinogenic waste on the land. Maintaining adequate levels of infant and maternal health also continues to pose a major challenge in Nigeria.

This paper examines abusive environmental practices in Nigeria and their implications on reproductive health. Furthermore, the paper analyzes the enhancement of environmental regulatory mechanisms and proffers suggestions with a view to overcoming challenges posed by environmental abuses to the Nigerian health sector.

Cite as: 19 Annl. Survey Int'l. Comp. L. 233 (2013).