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9. Nigeria

Pollution level: 124 ug/m3

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous in the world with over 155 million people.

Rapid urbanization and economic development have led to haphazard industrial planning in cities like Lagos that are struggling with waste management and high levels of pollution.

The country is also Africa’s largest oil producer, accounting for 2.3 million barrels of crude per day, according to the International Energy Agency. The Niger Delta region, where the world’s biggest energy companies operate, has experienced some of the worst oil spills in history. In August, a United Nations report said 50 years of oil pollution in the Ogoniland area may require the world’s biggest and longest cleanup. The 14-month study showed deeper pollution than previously thought in an area that is home to about one million people. The report said it could take 25 to 30 years to clean up the contaminated drinking water, land and ecosystems.

Pipeline vandalism to feed a black-market in oil is common in the region and often contributes to oil spills. In September, Shell said it would shut production of 25,000 barrels of crude per day in the area due to the recent upsurge of oil thefts.

Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei | AFP | Getty Images