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Akoka residents seek government’s intervention in contaminated underground water

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[FILE] Yaba. Photo: Propertypro

Residents of Akoka community in Lagos have raised the alarm over the alleged poisoning of the neighbourhood’s underground water by Total Filling Station on St. Finbarrs College Road.

Speaking under the aegis of Total Must Do Right, its chairman, Akintunde Ogunfemi, told The Guardian that an underground storage tank of the filling station burst about three years ago, resulting in heavy pollution of the underground water.

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He explained that the pollution affected residents of Aiyetoro, Abdullahi, Itesiwaju, Sobande, Solanke, Wulemotu Ajoke streets, parts of Oyenuga Street, and St. Finbarrs College Road.

Ogunfemi said residents of the streets had had to contend with water laced with petrol in their taps, adding that in one incident, there was an outbreak in one of the gutters as a result of gushing of the contaminated water from a house close to the filling station.

“As law-abiding residents, we have, over the last three years, ensured that we contact all relevant regulatory agencies of the government, including Lagos Ministry of the Environment, National Oil Spill, Detection and Regulatory Agency (NOSDRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Lagos Water Corporation, Lagos State Underground Water Regulatory Agency and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA),” he stated.

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When contacted, a representative of Total Filling Station, Segun Toikumo, declined comment on the matter, while one Albert, a Corporate Communications Officer at Total Head Office, ignored calls and text messages sent to his mobile telephone number.

Ogunfemi added that the group wrote and met the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, through his Chief of Staff, representatives of the area at the state and National Assembly, and chairmen of Somolu Council Area and Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA), among others.

Ogunfemi lamented that to date, the filling station was still operating and residents of Akoka were dying slowly as a result of the water poisoning.

A resident of Aiyetoro Street, Mrs Adetutu Binutu, told The Guardian that Akoka residents risk serious health challenges, just as water sample from her flat exuded an awful odour, adding that most of them now go to Bariga to buy water.

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