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FG battles soot emission in Rivers

By Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt)
13 March 2017   |   6:20 am
The Federal Government has said measures are being taken to tackle the black soot emission in Rivers State.The National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency, NOSDRA and the Federal Government Technical Committee on Black Soot....

A rick shaw carries passengers through smoke emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on February 14, 2017.<br />The Nigerian city of Port Harcourt used to be known as “The Garden City”, since late last year, black soot has been falling from the sky, scaring and angering residents who claim nothing is being done to protect their health. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The Federal Government has said measures are being taken to tackle the black soot emission in Rivers State.The National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency, NOSDRA and the Federal Government Technical Committee on Black Sooth, according to the Secretary of the Technical Committee, Kenneth Aroh, would engage air quality experts and climatologists to ascertain the extent of soot in the atmosphere and also proffered solution to it.

The Committee made up of heads of security outfits, international oil companies IoCs, government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), said that the committee explored short term, medium term and long-term actions in search of solution to the pollution.

Aroh explained that intensive enlightenment would also be carried out to educate the populace of the dangers of air pollution in the first phase.
He disclosed that, the experts have demarcated the state into 18 zones for easy assessment. He added that there is the availability of sampling equipment to cover the zones.

The technical committee secretary said: “Experts would be engaged to carry out 24 hours monitoring of soot, in strategic zones in Port Harcourt and environs to source of origin.”

Aroh stated that the short-term measure, which would last for six months and above, would commence immediately the first phase was concluded, adding that Air Quality Index (AQI) would be established in the state.

It will de recalled that the residents of Rivers State have expressed fear over black soot emission into the atmosphere since October last year, which was believed to be chemical components as a result of incomplete combustion, which reportedly is cancerous.

The Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Cyrus Nkangwu, expressed happiness over the swift response of the key stakeholders in the state.According to Nkangwu, residents of the state should cultivate the habit of tree planting, noting that it was one of the measures to save the environment from degradation.

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