Tuesday 10 December 2019

Citizens Raise Concerns Over Polluted Air As Soot Clouds to Port Harcourt




Residents of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria have started raising concerns over the soot pollution that has enveloped the city. Many would remember that the air pollution in the form of soot, has been an issue over the course of the last three to four years.

In 2017 and 2018, concerned stakeholders and citizens in the city embarked on awareness campaigns to sensitize residents within the state on the best ways to remain safe, stay healthy and guard against the effects of soot. Also, these campaigns were geared towards calling on the state and federal government to act fast to prevent grave consequences arising for inhaling contaminated and polluted air.

While the state government put in some measures such as shutting down some production and manufacturing companies who were found to be major contributors to the pollution, the operations of artisanal refineries have continued to contribute immensely to the pollution process.

Read Also: Amidst 2019 General Elections, Soot Envelopes Port Harcourt Residents

It would be recalled in the last two years that some of these illegal refineries were shut down by efforts of the state joint task force. However, it can be said that their operations have not been totally stopped.

As the dry season reaches its peak and the ambient air becomes harsher, it is evident that the effects of polluted air were only covered by the rainfall over the past months. These effects are well pronounced as the harmattan season kicks in.

According to a recent report by BBC, as observed by Prof. Precious Ede, the chairman for the committee set up by the state government to tackle the soot issue, there has been 4% increase in the rate of lung infections within the state and if nothing is done within the next five years, there would be pronounced and recorded cases of respiratory tract infection and cancer cases.



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