In the South-South of Nigeria, majorly in Bayelsa and Rivers State, Residents have been bemoaning the occurrence of black soot in the environment. In 2021, it became an incessant loud lamentation because the states are gradually taking the status, “uninhabitable”.
Black soot is black or dull brown particles of amorphous carbon and tar. This is produced by the incomplete combustion of coal oil. It occurs like fumes from a car. Port Harcourt that was known as Garden City has become Soot City.
Port Harcourt soot began in 2016 as oil bunkering continues in the oil rich regions.
Effects of Port Harcourt Soot
1 The soot covers the cloud and can hinder the penetrating of the sun.
2 Rain drops become darker. In those days, rain water used to be the neatest water direct from the sky but not now.
3 Humans, buildings, trees, fields get covered by the black particles.
4 Edible leaves and vegetables get covered by the soot. They have to be thoroughly washed before cooked.
5 Constant inhaling of the soot is very harmful to the respiratory system.
6 Since the high impact of black soot, the climate condition changed to what cannot be forecasted. Dry season is almost disappearing in Port Harcourt.
Since 2018, #stopthesoot emerged as an outcry from the citizens. In this January, 2022, it seemed the government of Rivers State woke up to the outcry and rounded up over 10 persons involved in oil bunkering and paraded them. The government also declared some kingpins in the illegal business wanted. However, people had blamed the government for not providing jobs for the people before passing judgment. Recall that few years back robbery and kidnap was on the highest level in the state. Citizens commented that the people involved in those crimes are still the same as those involved in the oil bunker but the oil bunkering had kept them occupied thereby presenting an iota of peace.
But should robbery and kidnap stop that soot may continue?
The problem has not still been solved. It is a complicated matter indeed.
Hence personally, let us deal with the immediate problem.
Five Quick and Effective Ways to Deal with Port Harcourt Soot
Protest- Citizens have been protesting online and some physically but we have in our instant imagination and memory what protest is like in Nigeria or what protest amounts to.
Whistle Blowing– The right practice is to report the perpetrators to the armed forces but locals who dwell in these communities where oil bunkering is going on have said that the armed forces are corrupt. They meet the perpetrators and collect handsome bride that cripple their duty immediately.
Nose Mask– Some citizens now wear nose masks not for fear of covid but for fear of Port Harcourt soot. Although nose masks is not a 100 percent guaranteed because the soot gets into homes. Also while outside, people excuse themselves to talk or for a breath of fresh air.
Go Spiritual– The flesh and blood of Jesus Christ is available for everyone. This should constantly be in your system as you direct it to render every atom of soot in your system powerless. Let’s be guided.
Pray for Rain– It is January and it is already raining in Rivers State even after the rainy season of 2021 remained till December. The rain is a helpful remedy as it helps wipe the soot off surfaces and from the atmosphere for some time before it gathers again.
One can employ all these measures or few of them to tackle Port Harcourt soot personally or nationally till the plague is eliminated.