Residents of Rivers State will tomorrow mark two years since they started inhaling poisonous sub-micron particulate matter, popularly called “Soot”.
The Soot, which appears on the atmosphere within the state and environs, is believed to emanate from the activities of the oil and gas industry.
A group, Stop-The-Soot Campaign has organised a summit to sign a petition to the United Nations, alerting the world over Nigerian government’s refusal to act on the poisonous matter.
Speaking on the summit, which will hold in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, leader of the group, Eugene Abels, stated that Soot is threatening the lives of 5.2 million residents of the state.
Abel said: “September 2018 makes it 24months that the 5.2 million residents of Rivers State have been inhaling poisonous sub-micron particulate matter aka Soot.
“We petitioned the United Nations and the World Health Organisation copying the Holy See Pope Francis and other world leaders and organisations but we are yet to get even an acknowledgement. Join us to remind them in our call for a Health Audit of the residents of Rivers State by conducting tests for Cancer and Renal related tests.
“An Environmental Audit of Rivers State to know the state of our ground water, rivers, fish, soil and rain.
“In 2016, we did the initial protest to sensitise the public and the government that something was wrong. They promised to respond.
“On April 19, this year, we came out again to do a massive protest and took it to the next level, which is national and international. We got the supposedly deserved attention and we attended diverse meetings with government agencies and representatives at different levels because we see looking for a solution.
“We are not being antagonistic. By May, we issued a press release because we were dissatisfied with the responses. In August, we decided that it was time to take it to the next level,” he said.