Residents cry to Soludo over environmental pollution, call for relocation of rice mill

One of the compounds affected with the rice mill close to it

Residents of Ngo Ndam community, Nnobi in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra state have cried to Governor Charles Soludo to save them from industrial pollution that has posed health hazards to both humans, domestic animals and economic trees.

A member of the community, Mr John Enwedo who addressed the press, yesterday, disclosed that the environmental pollution was coming from a rice mill located near residential buildings.

He said that the kind of toxic waste coming out from the rice mill set up last year which commenced production this year had not allowed the residents a breathing space.

A dark-coated floor by the pollution in one of the apartments

“This factory was located here last year but started production this year.

“When they started operation we noticed huge smoke coming from the factory, very dark smoke. Everywhere here is covered with smoke and it will be itching our eyes. And the noise that comes from there does not allow us to sleep.

“My aging mother here continues to fall sick since they started operation. She has something that looks like heat rashes on her body.

“We have cried to our community leaders and they seem not to be doing anything. We don’t know what to do again. So, we are calling on government, the ministry of environment to come in and help us, “he said.

According to Mr Enwedo, more than ten households were affected in the environmental pollution, adding that the dark smoke with the dark dust coming with it were heavily deposited in every living apartment and could not allow them to rest or sleep.

He said that all their rooftops were coated with the dark industrial waste which conterminated rain water they should have accessed when it rained.

He disclosed that some of the residents were planning to relocate elsewhere and evacuate their domestic animals, if nothing was done to save the situation.

Their prayer is that the rice mill should be relocated to an industrial layout, asking whether there was an environmental impact assessment by government department before siting the rice mill.

When journalists were taken round the apartments in the compound there were deposits of the dark substances all over the rooms.

An agriculture consultant, Mr Emeka Okafor who later spoke to journalists on the impact of the pollution said the black smoke would cover the green leaves and would not allow photosynthesis to take place.

Mr Okafor explained that the consequences would make the economic trees and every other crop unproductive.

Reacting on telephone, however, the owner of the rice mill, Chief Emeka Agbanari who is also from Nnobi community said he was surprised why the complaints were still coming when the issue was being resolved.

He explained that those who installed the rice mill machines were working round the clock to correct an error that had been noticed after the installation.

He said he had been in constant meetings with the community head of the affected residents for a lasting solution to the industrial pollution.

“I had a meeting with the community head, yesterday, and we agreed that the people who installed the machines should do something about the situation and they are working on the machines to control the industrial waste, “Chief Agbanari said.

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