Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
As part of efforts to resolve the air pollution in Rivers State and its environs, National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) and other stakeholders said they have concluded plans to engage the services of Air Quality Experts.
They said their decisions was to ascertain the level of the soot into the atmosphere and to be able to bring such menace under control.
The meeting which took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital at the weekend was made up of heads of security outfits in the state, International Oil Companies, Government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations.
It will recalled that the residents of Rivers State have been in panic over the rain of black particles, believed to be chemical components as a result of incomplete combustion, which according experts is cancerous.
Presenting the plans of the body, Kenneth Aroh, who is the Secretary of a Technical Committee of the body, noted that air experts and Climatologists would be employed to ascertain the extent of soot in the atmosphere.
Aroh noting that the committee proffered short term, medium term and long term actions in search of solution to the pollution, adding that intensive enlightenment would be carried to educate the populace of the dangers of air pollution in the first phase.
He said: “Experts will be engaged to carry out 24 hours monitoring of soot, in strategic zones in Port Harcourt and environs to source of origin.”
He noted that the state has been demarcated into 18 zones for easy assessment by the experts, stressing that there is availability of sampling equipment to cover the zones.
Aroh said a long term measure which would last for six months and above would commence immediately the first phase was concluded and that Air Quality Index, AQI, would be established in the state.
Meanwhile, the Director of NOSDRA, Mr. Cyrus Nkangwu, expressed happiness on the swift response of the key stakeholders in the state,
Nkangwu urged residents of the state to cultivate the habit of tree planting, noting that it was one of the measures to save the environment from degradation.