Soot Emission: Rivers to meet oil states’ environment commissioners

Some residents of Rivers state have expressed concern over the possible health dangers of black carbon emissions, believed to have resulted from illegal refining and constant burning of oil installations in the state.

Following the increasing drops of soot in parts of Rivers State, the state government said it has scheduled a meeting with the commissioners for Environment in all oil-producing states to seek a permanent solution to the problem.

According to the Commissioner for Environment, Prof Roselyn Konya, the soot emission is not just a “Rivers State problem,” but also a problem of all oil-producing states.

Speaking during a radio programme in Port Harcourt yesterday, Konya said if the problem was not tackled urgently from the root by getting a permanent solution to it, it might escalate to other oil-producing states soon; hence the need for the meeting.

“We are determined to get a permanent solution to this problem and we do not want something we tackle now and tomorrow it re-appears.

“That is why we want to involve all commissioners for Environment in oil-producing states to reason together, work together and bring a permanent solution to it,” she stated.

Meanwhile, residents have decried the slow state government response to the development, recalling that the soot was very visible between October and November last year and that alarm was raised about it, but no prompt response or effort was made by the state government to check it.

But Konya insisted that the state government was not relaxed about the situation, as it swung into action immediately the soot was discovered in November last year.

She said: “ Rivers State government is a very responsive government, there is no way the government will see a problem and not solve it.

“We have not been slow in tackling the challenge; the officers of the Ministry of Environment were immediately dispatched to the field and we have enough evidence from all the analysis we have done.”

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Roselyn KonyaSoot Emission
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