The Rain of Black Soot in Rivers State- Residents Panic

Residents of Port Harcourt have continued to worry over the rain of carbon deposits on their environments. The deposits are visible on their furniture, rooftops and on floors especially at dawn.1

Some residents who spoke with our correspondent, Caleb David, expressed their concerns over this recent air pollution.

Abel Abayiga, a Master of Science student of Radiation and Environmental physics at the University of Port Harcourt said: “I realized it while riding my motorcycle. I noticed that my clothes were suddenly appearing dusty, but when I tried to dust-off, it appeared dark and stained my shirt.”Corroborating him, a student who simply gave her name as Theresa, said: “I noticed this sudden black dust when I travelled to Okrika. I feel it’s as a result of illegal crude oil activities in this region and I hope it is controlled soon.”

In her opinion, Chioma Chiemeke, a Masters student of the faculty of Education said: “Yes I have taken cognizance of the black soot. I saw it on surfaces and pavement in and around my house and at school. I don’t like it because it causes air pollution and it is very dangerous. I think it must be coming from a large burning somewhere.”

An environmental expert at the University of Port Harcourt, Mrs. C. O. Ononuigbo, affirmed the situation stating that “Environmentalists are carrying out their research on this sudden appearance, though there is still confusion of its source.” She further stated that some relevant questions need to be asked for the source to be speedily traced: “I think certain questions should be asked; what
could have caused this emission that is if emission is the cause? Why was the soot not present last year or subsequent years? Has the sudden presence of this black soot affected the weather condition in Port Harcourt or has it raised any sudden health issues and poisoning?”

Confirming this recent development, the Rivers State Government, through a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya, reiterated its commitment in bringing the pollution to an end as soon as the source is discovered. She however called on the residents of Rivers State and its environs to assist the government with information that would lead to the source of the black soot: “Consequently the public is hereby urged to complement the effort of the state government by assisting to look out for the source of this strange soot and report the location to the government through this dedicated telephone lines; 08033095142, 08036621345, 08037503473.”

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