Sometime in 2016 the city of Port Harcourt and Rivers State at large experienced hazardous substances in the atmosphere which was caused by some human activities, the prominent one of all was illegal refining of hydrocarbon which deposited black soot in the atmosphere. The air became very noxious for breathing and caused a couple breathing ailment to some people and it continued for months.
The illegal hydrocarbon activities weren’t coming to an end any time soon, hence the need for urgent awareness to the public as well as a call to the Government and other health/environmental agencies to take actions. This awareness which had major input from public figures and the general public via social and other media has finally paid off and the black soot menace is gradually depreciating.
The following are things that i learnt in course of the black soot menace.
It was caused by illegal hydrocarbon activities in the state
Recession came and prices of commodities increased due to exchange rate, the prices PMS (Premium motor spray, popularly known as petrol or fuel) and kerosene weren’t left behind; their prices increased too and that was an avenue for the crooks to showcase their talent. Their mission was to sell at a cheaper rate, petroleum products but the adverse effect was telling on the society.
Unity is a powerful tool for development
Because the black soot menace was a general issue that affected practically everyone. No one kept quiet and since our voices were in unison the message was delivered faster.
Government Social media handles are actually active
Before now i used to think it’s a waste of time tweeting to any government parastatal as they might not be active. Who would believe that a campaign that had greater social media strength would deliver to the Government? but it actually did. Kudos!
Human activities can alter climate and/or other natural phenomenon
So common illegal refining of hydrocarbons can actually make harmattan that was suppose to start around October start late December 2016, pause in January and start again in February. lol, it’s well.
Written by:- Alabo JojoFalani
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