Will living plants save the Niger Delta?

The Niger Delta in Nigeria has been frequently polluted by human activities, leaving precious agricultural land unfit for use. Until now, traditional methods for cleaning up this type of pollution have proven to be uneffective. Facing the urgency of threats to human health, Eucharia Nwaichi has chosen to test the potential of two local living plants, Bambara bean and Lemongrass, for cleaning up a crude oil-contaminated site in the Delta. Doing so, she brings hope to Nigeria and its delta population.

DiscovHER - How is your research positioned to contribute to your country and the Niger Delta?

Eucharia Nwaichi - My work will improve the life and environmental conditions of the people of the Niger Delta, Nigeria as a whole and infectiously the world at large.

I am concerned by the future of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria which is threatened with severe pollution from petroleum and other industrial contamination that leaves precious agricultural land unfit for use.


D/H - What challenges have you overcome in Nigeria?

EN - My biggest challenge was centered around poor facilities and effective mentorship available in Nigeria. I resolved to finding help anywhere possible. As an undergraduate student, I had my industrial experience with Eleme Petrochemical Company where I received hands-on training with modern equipment. I also carried out research in the laboratory for Coca Cola company and Shell Petroleum Development Company on similar scientific structure. I believe Industry/University patnership is quite productive and as such should be strengthened.


D/H - As a woman scientist, what do you think about fighting for women in science integration and promotion?

EN - Women in Science is a good cause and is worth fighting for, as women indirectly control every facet of life and should be encouraged to lay their hands on research as they are more careful and committed beings in whatever they do. There are cultural barriers, ethical and religious types to women’s participation in core Science.


D/H - What other scientific disciplines do you believe can better our planet?

EN - Nanotechnology has a great role to play across all subjects mentioned above. Scientists need to work together as every subject has important opinions to bring to the table.

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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