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Again, Port Harcourt residents call on Authorities to #StopTheSoot taking Over the City



There’s a brewing health crisis in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, and it appears the government is doing nothing about it. Late 2016, residents of the capital city raised alarm over soot taking over the atmosphere and by December, it stopped, only to begin again a month later, this time worse.

By February 2017, the soot was making its way into people’s homes, causing a mess, but what’s worse, is the implication on life. Residents raised alarm again, and the government set up a task force to tackle the situation. It stopped after the state government shut down a Chinese Asphalt plant allegedly responsible for the presence of soot in the atmosphere, only to begin again early 2018.

In February, the federal ministry of environment declared an air pollution emergency in the affected areas, saying that preliminary test samples of the soot indicated it was caused by “incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons” as well as “asphalt processing and illegal artisanal refinery operations.” The statement also said that “an asphalt processing plant” has been issued a notice to temporarily shut down.

About 2 months after the release of that statement, it appears there is no action being taken. Residents, have taken to social media again, to protest the menace using the hashtag #StopTheSoot.

Residents are also petitioning the federal government, calling on it to #StopTheSoot. It has gathered almost 4,000 signatures as at the time of this report. You can lend your voice and sign the petition HERE.

Again, we are calling on the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health and all appropriate agencies to taken lasting action on this crisis as residents are being exposed to a risk factor of respiratory diseases, cancer or worse. #StopTheSoot!

Respiratory diseases, cancers or worse are some of the implications of this, and nothing is being done.


  1. Oyda

    April 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Wow this is serious guys!
    Let it not be like children of chernoble a whole generation of children and adults are really at risk here. We also don’t have a health care system.

    This calls for protest!
    Pls tag every international news media, their friends (Bill gate) and coo pls guys this is serious oh!

  2. Ephi

    April 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    This is sooo bad, the risk to health!! What a shame. What the Chinese can’t do in China or any of the western countries, we let them do in ours. What exactly is the governor doing about this?

    • tunmi

      April 4, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Let’s be careful with how we’re casting blame. So far it has been narrowed down to the asphalt company, and refineries. They’ve shut down the asphalt company. With illegal refineries, it’s our own people.

      In February, the federal ministry of environment declared an air pollution emergency in the affected areas, saying that preliminary test samples of the soot indicated it was caused by “incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons” as well as “asphalt processing and illegal artisanal refinery operations.”

    • Fleur

      April 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Lung cancer, premature death, cardiovascular events (Stroke, heart attacks, arrythmia), cognitive deficits and neurobehavioral problems of lead is in the particulates. Good luck

    • Yeyeperry

      April 5, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Which Chinese company? It’s the illegal refineries. Our dear useless governor won’t do anything about it because election is around the corner and there are people making money from those operations. You wake up in the morning, you think it’s going to rain only if you look more closely it’s haze/fog created by the soot. Even if he wants to claim it’s the job of the federal government to deal with the pollution, at least let him open his mouth and say something!

    • Yeyeperry

      April 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

      And while he’s saying something, put politics aside and do something! He kuku did not need anyone’s vote to become governor in the first place. I’m wondering why he bothers now.

  3. Vee

    April 4, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Burning of tires is also prevalent there. Little things like that goes a long way

  4. bunnie

    April 4, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, the government has decided to do nothing. They come up with one statement today, tomorrow another and yet nothing is done. I personally have been complaining since 2016. I wrote to Bellanaija then, they made a post on it and every now and then I post on my social media handles. The government knows the guys in communities doing these things but they just keep mute forgetting that we all breathe in same air.

    About two weeks ago, from the chopper I was in flying over communities in Rivers State, you could clearly see these things; it was a bad sight. You wake up in the morning, especially for those living in Woji and Abuloma areas and it is a huge mess. Your nostrils are black, you know that’s pathway to your lungs, your cough out phlegm and it’s black, surfaces black, your feet black……..sometimes you come out in the early mornings and it’s like an evil spirit is hovering over you. And no jokes, on very bad days, you actually smell something.

    Our air is polluted, water is polluted, our foods aren’t even so safe left open. The commissioner of Environment will come out and say “cover your foods”, but will not know that addressing the root cause of our problem is the solution. Some supposedly literate persons have argued with me and made this political. Saying if the federal government cannot help us, our boys have to find a way. Find a way whilst killing yourself?? It’s sad that we can’t just pack up our bags and relocate. There’s so much to say and so much anger in me when I pay attention to the soot…… I’m really still hoping the government knows that there is something called long-term effects. Enough said!!!!


  5. omomo

    April 4, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    i thought ben bruce advocated for them to leave illegal refineries alone simply because his wife ,kids and grand kids are not in port harcourt

  6. miss_nk

    April 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve bee back in phc for just over 3 weeks and it’s horrible. My eyes are constantly stinging/watering when I’m out and my nose is irritated. I think I’ll start wearing face masks because this is just getting out of control

  7. Fizzy

    April 5, 2018 at 2:13 am

    My friend who visited from Ph and I discussed this menace just this past w/end. It is prepostrous that this has lingered on for so long. My conclusion is that those in govt in PH are benefiting from the proceeds of this sacrilege. Useless politicians.

  8. zzzzzzzzzzz

    April 5, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Look sentiments aside, those illegal refineries need to be closed down. Life is not all about money

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