The Green Resilience, a climate and environment advocacy group, has urged the Federal Government to enforce laws on environmental pollution and prosecute environmental polluters in the country.
Mr Kingsley Adindu, a member of the group, gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the group’s meeting with the Rivers State Ministry of Environment in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Adindu urged government to be directly involved to ensure that the industrial activities in the state which brought the fall out of the soot did not affect the people’s health.
Soot is a mixture of fine black particles created by the product of incomplete combustion and primarily made up of carbon, but could contain trace amounts of metals, dust and chemicals.
Soot is also believed to be related to the destruction of illegal refineries.
Residents of Port Harcourt have since November 2016 woken up to see their city covered by a thick fog of black powdery dust known as soot.
“The Ministry of Environment and its agencies should make sure that environmental regulations are taking seriously.
“Also, environmental enforcement should be carried out to check illegal refineries which are one of the causes of the environmental pollution in the state.
“Soot has been in the state for over four years now and it started with some industrial activities.
“We are hopeful that with the Ministry’s support of our partnership with the National Oil Dictational Response Agency (NOSDRA), that they are going to come up with a climate bill that punishes those responsible for the pollution,” he said.
Mr Peter Uzoma, a member of the group, said that the minister was told the truth about some basic climatic change issues facing the state.
He said that the minister was shown some solutions on how to tackle the soot that had affected the state.
Uzoma said that the group would partner with the NOSDRA to tackle environmental pollution in the state.
Dr Sampson Oladipo, Operational Head, NOSDRA, said that laboratory operations in the agency was impotent because the indices of the pollution were not physical.
Oladipo said that the agency had taken some samples of the soot from every part of Port Harcourt to the laboratory to find out effects on the environment.
“We will be able to advise the public on measures to take after the analysis are done in the laboratory and we have the result,” he said.
By Precious Akutamadu