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Port Harcourt Residents raise alarm over soot in the air

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This is disheartening and scary at the same time.

Sometime last year, Port Harcourt, Rivers State residents raised alarm over the presence of soot in the air.

It’s painful that about a year later the same cry is being made.

Today, we received an email from a BNer complaining of the same thing.

“I have a major concern. I live in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. Recently, we have been experiencing a serious environmental hazard in the form of air pollution (black soot). Please can you help us… bring awareness to this issue that has put a lot of the residents of Rivers state in panic mode,” the resident said.

A couple of comments from residents:

  • This is so true ohhhh. I have been mopping my house like twice I’m a day,pls the government should do something about this
  • Dats wat we have been experiencing, it’s so bad and wicked cus our govt don’t want to look into it.
  • Hmmm its so true and very frightening o. I clean my house morning and evening no. When you clean your nose or face you’ll be surprised what you see.
  • It’s so true. It’s always in my nose and on my body when I wake upon the morning and I was blaming the church opposite my house which has a mikano generator….. Jesus save us.
  • This is 100% true! I first noticed it on cars. I was wondering why the cars suddenly had lots of black dust everyday. Until I started seeing it on floors . May God help us! Sorry to say but Nigeria is the most useless country on the planet. We are so helpless.
  • God, I’m in PH and can’t wait to enter the next available flight to Lagos tomorrow, I don’t even feel like breathing now????. Fear is catching me.
  • This is what we have been experiencing since 2016.it is freaking annoying
  • This is so true,it’s in the air we breathe,it’s on every surface and it’s dangerous!
  • This is so true ohhhh. I have been mopping my house like twice I’m a day,pls the government should do something about this

This is calling on the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health and all appropriate agencies to this crisis as residents are being exposed to a risk factor of respiratory diseases, cancer or worse.

An Instagram user, Ify Simpa (@cakes_alaparties) also shared disturbing videos of how the situation is affecting her and her family.

24 Comments

  1. tunmi

    February 8, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for collecting evidence in the form of photos and videos.

    So I looked online and found a news article about a similar thing in Florida, US. It could be ash from a fire, pollution from a power plant, dust worsened by the end of the dry season, mold or soil.

    nbc-2.com/story/22155219/good-question-what-is-all-that-black-dust

  2. BA

    February 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    This is unbelievably scary.

    • Pink.

      February 8, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Have they protested? What are they waiting for? You think your governor is on instagram? Keep waiting around, and don’t take the bull by the horns. They will travel abroad with their families and receive the best treatment while all of your generations inhale black soot. #Ourmumuneverdo#

  3. Chekwube

    February 8, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Please wear masks around for now because I don’t think this government has the capacity to do anything about it.

  4. chikita

    February 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    All the waste illegally dumped in ogoni land or the witches are doing a festival.

  5. Onos

    February 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Bella……………….this is pure wickedness…..last year October/November 2016 the alarm was raised and it stop for sometime btw Dec 2016 and early January2017, but getting to middle Jan 2017,it came back with full force even more then what we where experiencing before now……. m I think the Rivers state Government has an ideal about this black soot and they are keeping quite, I think they know where its coming from, but for one reason or the another, they have refuse to put a stop to it, because how come when a alarm was raised between October/November 2016, the black soot stopped. This is scary…..when I wake up in the morning each day while brushing my teeth, you see the black soot mix with the fluid inside you nose and throat. we are not even talking about spreading you washed cloths out side, that one na story for another day. what about the floor and everything inside your house turning black over night. we don’t even have an ideal of the what damage this substance is causing inside our system. God Help us all in Port Harcourt. please help spread the news. this is getting too much and we must put a stop to it.

  6. LisaO

    February 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I thought the minister of health visited last year with the promise of cleaning up waste? The pictures were everywhere – so what’s happening?

    • wellness

      February 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Why is the state Governor silent? Air pollution is generally as a result of gas exhaults. I am not saying Rivers state doesn’t have a land pollution problem ( partly inflicted by the oil companies, and by the communities during oil theft and illegal refinary operations). This is probably more as a result of illegal refineries/ burning of coal ( don’t know if they do this), or other manufacturing operations.

      Regulations need to be set to avoid this, I am sure the state government is within its right to do so and enforce it.

    • Race of Life

      February 8, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Sometimes when consultations are taking place you hear nothing at first. It’s called governance.

  7. onos

    February 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Bella……………….this is pure wickedness…..last year October/November 2016 the alarm was raised and it stop for sometime btw Dec 2016 and early January2017, but getting to middle Jan 2017,it came back with full force even more then what we where experiencing before now……. m I think the Rivers state Government has an ideal about this black soot and they are keeping quite, I think they know where its coming from, but for one reason or the another, they have refuse to put a stop to it, because how come when a alarm was raised between October/November 2016, the black soot stopped. This is scary…..when I wake up in the morning each day while brushing my teeth, you see the black soot mix with the fluid inside you nose and throat. we are not even talking about spreading you washed cloths out side, that one na story for another day. what about the floor and everything inside your house turning black over night. we don’t even have an ideal of the what damage this substance is causing inside our system. God Help us all in Port Harcourt. please help spread the news. this is getting too much and we must put a stop to it.

    • Pink

      February 8, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Nigerians though, Keep waiting around for God to help you, don’t do something about it yourselves. God has helped you by keeping you alive till date, with limbs that are still functional, do make use of them! Go to the government house and demand your rights, or if you want continue staying in the comfort of your homes. Just pray you don’t suffocate while skeeping with masks on.

  8. LisaO

    February 8, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Sorry, Minister for Environment **

  9. Odapdoo

    February 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Thank-you Bellanaija for your response to my mail and thanks for helping us raise awareness on this. We hope the appropriate authorities look into it soonest.

  10. TheTruth

    February 8, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Looks like sprinkled oil residue to me and I’m not surprised

  11. o

    February 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Oh my. Something needs to be done fast. Serious health hazard Pls everyone (in ph) wear nose mask for now oo

  12. mama zee

    February 8, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    it will be better if everyone in the affected area takes measures to keep themselves safe.like putting on masks especially on children and when indoors keep ur windows shot and make sure lots of water is drank to clear your system. its rather unfortunate that the nation can’t do anything to take care of its citizens. God will continue to protect us

  13. NG

    February 8, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Confirming from a source that it is so bad- inside their houses, on cars and in the sky, they feel the impact everywhere. My friend had a big issue with her maid when it was first noticed. The poor girl was accused of laziness as the floor would always be black when madam came home from work. The maid bore the brunt until everyone else was complaining too. Not funny at all- the silence by the state government.

  14. CHEEK

    February 8, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    PH is an oil producing state, According to google, Soot is a powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter.

    So for now, people should endeavour to shut the windows at all times, use AC or Fan when its hot.
    Cover your noses with mask when commuting. stay indoors as much as you can.

    Its as hazardous as first hand smoking. even more so on kids.

    Hopefully, soon enough, the govt will put sanction measures in place to combat the oil companies,

  15. Timb

    February 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I grew up in PH in the early 1980s, and an eduring memory was the constant gas flaring visible from some parts of the city. There was always a haze in the sky, acid rain, polluted water with a visible oil sheen on the surface of water fetched from wells.

    We as a people have somehow accepted this for way too long, it’s high time we take a stand because the future of our kids are now also at stake.

    But on the other hand we can just blame APC and Buhari.

  16. Lala

    February 8, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    The. Result of ‘cooking crude oil’ , simple.

  17. ann

    February 8, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Bella for bringing awareness to this health issue. It is appalling that this isn’t trending on twitter, facebook and that major news outlets are not reporting on this health hazard.

    I cried when I read this and I checked out the videos posted on instagram showing a mother wipe black dust out of her daughter’s nose. I am posting this to twitter to spread this story.

    It is obvious the government doesn’t care and we Nigerians(including myself) always find ways to “patch and go” and the problem never gets resolved. This will never fly in the west. That’s why there are environmental laws protecting people, environment etc.

    With the way we are going, it’s not only lung cancer, respiratory diseases that we will be reporting, let’s not forget we have no regulations on food and drugs. May God help us but more importantly let’s be brave and bold and say enough is enough. This post should have garnered only about 16 responses. If it is about fashion, clothes etc there could easily be 200 comments. Just because it’s not happening where you are, shouldn’t mean that we are not bothered.

    This what continues to plague our country, and a lot of other countries in the African continent. We have incompetent buffoons running things, yet we have been blessed with resources and talent and it is not being utilized optimally.

  18. Ife

    February 8, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Bella, I sent a story to you on creating awareness as regards pipeline vandalism. I also stated clearly how a known man lost his life to this evil act. Unfortunately your team has not gotten back to me. I’m a bit disappointed oh . I must say we need to bring awareness to the curses of being an oil producing country and the agony of citizens where some share the national cake and others put their life on the line . It is well

  19. Bibi

    February 9, 2017 at 12:10 am

    So terrifying !!! I live in lagos and this post brought tears to my eyes. We need to keep reposting and creating awareness to end this wicked act.

  20. bcga

    February 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I started working here in PH last July and having secured an apartment with the intention of moving my family over, I am here still dilly-dallying because of this black soot (among other security challenges) and its attendant health implication on my 3 months old baby.

    Paying two rents in Lagos in & PH in this economy is crazy but I will rather that than jeopardize the health of my innocent baby and wife.

    I have written to the state government through their official channels, engaged some activists, channels news etc on twitter about this, hopefully, someone will respond to our cries.

    Illegal refiner activities by vandals across in the creeks are majorly responsible for this and it’s so unfair that men will be this unkind to their fellow men just because they want to make a living. It’s terrible.

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