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Update on Soot in Port Harcourt

After the press release of the 8th of Dec, 2016 by Rivers state Ministry of Environment which was communicated accordingly, the following are current updates on the soot:

1) The Chinese company earlier fingered as a source of the soot has been shut down.

2. Government has just set up a task force comprising experts from Ministries of Environment and Health and professionals to resolve issues around the soot and its source.

3. Report of analysis on soot as monitored by an interview granted a radio station by the Commissioner of Environment Rivers state:

- Sample collected from Abuloma area and Peter Odili area of PH
- Sample collected in two time frames; 12midnight – 6am and 6am – 8am
- Date of collection of sample 23rd Dec, 2016

Particulate Matter Size;
- Average of 270 micron/m3 for Abuloma & Peter Odili area between 12midnight – 6am
- Abuloma area 6am -8am; 125 micron/m3
- Peter Odili area 6am -8am; 62 micron/m3
Acceptable size is 25 micron/m3

Chemical substance:
- Additive for making tyres
- Nickel – high
- Lead - Low
Test shows that soot is petroleum based as a result of incomplete combustion of petroleum products

Suspected source of soot:
- Refineries
- Petro Chemical companies
- Activity of Illegal refineries
- Gas flaring
- Burning of tyre (to access copper imbedded in the tyres)

The Rivers State government cannot for now ascertain which of the above activities or any company or group of persons responsible for the soot. This is what the Tax force set up by the government is to achieve.

The report as monitored indicates that the activity mainly takes place at night which may indicate that the source of the soot will likely be from an illegal activity.

While we await further update from the government, please observe the following precautions:
- Cover all foods
- Don’t drink rain or exposed water
- Don’t eat expose roasted plantain and Suya
- Don’t  expose your skin especially at night
- Keep doors and windows closed
- Mop floor regularly
- Keep children indoors and away from the floor
- Use nose mask (if intensity of soot is much in your area)
- Asthmatic persons to take extra care

Government will also want you to call any of the numbers below if you observe any of the sources mentioned above in your area. They will send in a team to investigate and shut it down if found not to adhere strictly to the environmental laws.

Please find below Emergency number you can call for complaints and information on the source of the soot;
- 0806 576 8366
- 0803 662 1345
- 0803 750 3473

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