The Executive Director of Operations and Technical at Tantitta Security, Warredi Enisuoh, was recently featured on AriseTv, where he spoke on the continuous effort of the security services in covering crude oil theft in Nigeria.
When asked about the impact of burning crude which will definitely damage the environment and the ecosystem of the Niger Delta, he responded by saying that “if you go to Port-Harcourt, you will see that there is no black soot anymore because of the actions that we are taking.”
Claim: There is no black soot anymore in Port Harcourt.
The CDD War Room investigated the claim to verify its authenticity, and here is what we found.
Since late 2016, residents of Port Harcourt have been confronted with a distressing phenomenon: a pervasive black soot covering their environment, including vehicles, homes, plants, and clothing. This alarming situation has caused significant distress and hardship for the inhabitants. The presence of the soot is primarily attributed to the failure of authorities to effectively address the issue of illegal refineries.
Port Harcourt, once identified as the world’s most polluted city in 2018 with an air quality index of 188, is now at risk of becoming a hotspot for various health issues. These include severe respiratory, skin, and reproductive ailments, as well as chronic respiratory diseases, heart conditions, and cancer, posing a significant threat to the well-being of its residents in Nigeria.
Various prominent news agencies, both local and international, such as CNN and Nigerian Tribune, have extensively reported on the detrimental effects of the black soot, not only on public health but also on the broader environment. The Guardian, in its latest coverage from February 2023, delves into the persisting issue of black soot and its ongoing impact.
The Air Quality index (AQI) as of July 2023, is now 93 which is moderate but the PM2.5 concentration in Port Harcourt is currently 6.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.
Similarly, we reached out to some residents of Port Harcourt, the state capital, and they revealed that even though, the black smoke that characterized the black soot has reduced, it is still present in the environment.
Verdict: All We Know
Despite some improvements in the Air Quality Index since 2016, recent reports from reliable sources continue to confirm the presence of black soot in Port Harcourt, with visible and significant damages caused by its persisting presence.