When the harmattan kicked in fully in the first few days of December 2016, many were pleased due to the fact that it had been long overdue. It indeed was blissful as many had waited for eon to have it felt on their skins.
I had to enlighten few friends at different times on why the delay was inevitable. Climate change denial has only kept many from accepting the reality. A few of them saw my reasons and nodded in acceptance that we were indeed in a race to save earth.
It was a quiet harmattan period until an unforeseen event happened – the Black Soot. A closer look into the atmosphere, one could observe a form of black particles in the air. The general visibility became blurry. It was an unusual occurrence that lasted for days to the amazement of many observers.
Few days later, precisely on the 8th of December 2016, the Ministry of environment in Rivers state made a press release acknowledging “the sudden appearance of strange black soot deposits noticeably seen on cars and rooftops”.
The press release further advised the public not to panic as officials have been dispatched all over Rivers state to monitor and locate the source of the black soot for prompt action. The press release was duly signed by Dame Prof. Roseline Konya – Honourable Commissioner for Environment.
As at 8th of February, 2017, no report has been made as the black soot reappeared again. A look into the website of the government has no information regarding this. https://riversstate.net.ng/mda/ministry-of-environment/ www.riversenvironmentministry.com
Residents are beginning to panic as the soot is seen to be prevalent in different parts of the city. The carbon pollution is a silent killer and citizens have been exposed to it more than they should already.
The twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Environment made a tweet yesterday that the Ministry is working with IOC’s and some laboratory work was conducted. Port Harcourt residents have been advised to exercise patience as the government looks critically into the issue and identify solutions.
We hope we get a report before the end of the week and an end can finally be put into the black soot saga.