Stakeholders including community leaders, civil society organizations and the media in the Niger Delta region have expressed concern on the continuous spread of soot across the region.
The stakeholders yesterday in Port Harcourt took turns to speak at one-day forum on Soot Pollution organised by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).
Speaking at the event, the executive director of We-The-People, Ken Henshaw, said residents of Abia and Imo states had started reporting about increased presence of soot in their environment.
Henshaw said the soot in the atmosphere was traceable to artisanal refining of petroleum products, adding that oil spill and poverty were two sources responsible for artisanal refining.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, CAPPA’s director of programmes, Philip Jakpor, said soot was first noticed in the Niger Delta seven years ago when residents of Port Harcourt and environs started noticing thick smog in the atmosphere.
Jakpor said: “Residents felt alarmed because what they observed was not associated with harmattan or the morning dew after heavy rains. There was something unusually different with this type of smog as it left black stains on the surface of items.”