Residents of the state panicked when soot began to appear in Port Harcourt’s atmosphere in September 2016. Residents of the state have been fighting these black acidic particles for more than five years.
Soot is made up of fine black particles that are mainly composed of carbon and formed by incomplete combustion of coal or oil.
Residents are not yet aware of the true cause of the soot. However, environmental rights activists continue to blame illegal oil bunkerers, security agencies, and oil companies for the soot.
The Extra Steps Initiative (TESI), a nongovernmental organisation, sued the federal government at Federal High Court to enforce the fundamental rights to life and to a generally satisfactory environment favourable to development.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, National Environmental Standards, Detection and Regulation Agency were also co-defendants.
(NESDRA), and the Joint Military Task Force JTF in the Niger Delta.
Dr. Bieyerenner Briggs, a public health expert, reported that there was an increase in infertility for men living in Port Harcourt due to the high levels of soot.
A study by the UPTH revealed that most males from Port Harcourt have structural anomaly within their sperm cells. It is important to note that sperm is strongly indicated in pregnancy.
It is the woman’s sperm that will fertilize the egg and bring about pregnancy. If they are structurally abnormal, it is a sign that they do not have the ability to fertilize an egg. He explained that they are unable to procreate.
Briggs stated that the soot pollution is causing unborn children to suffer. He called for an end of soot pollution.
Weary of waiting for the federal to take action on the soot threat, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike declared war against illegal refineries in January of this year.
Over 200 illegal refineries and facilities used to store illegally refined petroleum products have been destroyed so far.
Residents claim that there has been a significant reduction in the amount of soot pollution around the Rivers State capital and its environs.
Hon. Innocent Ajaelu said that he had praised Wike for the achievements he has made so far.
Let me laud the efforts of the governor of the state for recognizing that people were slowly dying. I have never seen anything that is more dangerous to the body than this. I visited one hospital along Stadium Road, Port Harcourt, where I saw children aged between one and three. They were all suffering from soot related health problems.