Ideriah Proffers Lasting Solution To Black Soot, Other Pollutants In Rivers

With the nuisance of black soot pollution yet to be finally obliterated from many homes in the state, a Professor of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry at the Rivers State University (RSU), Port Harcourt, Professor Tubonbimi Joseph Kio Ideriah has stated that the curtains would be drawn on the endemic if the moribund refineries in the state are repaired and put into use.

He said the restoration of these refineries would not only stop the emission of substances which generates the black soot, but would also generate employment to the teeming youths who engage in the infamous ‘kpofire’ activities.

Speaking at the 76th Inaugural Lecture of the university on Wednesday, Professor Ideriah advised the government to fix the refineries, asserting that unemployment was largely responsible for the circumstances causing environmental pollution in the state.

“Illegal refineries should be stopped, and the way to stop it is to rehabilitate the four refineries.  What is the problem?  Why were they working up to the time they were working and why are they no longer working? If those four refineries were in existence, the jobs would still be there”, he posited. 

Prof. Ideriah whose title of lecture is “Environmental Pollution: SAW Quality Monitoring as Platform for Pollution Control and Management”, dismissed suggestions that the production of modular refineries would curb the menace of Kpofire.

His words, “You bring in modular refineries, you and I would agree that one modular refinery cannot employ one million workers and so what happens to the remaining youths?  They would continue, until you bring another modular refinery”.

He went on: “As it is said, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and because the youths are unemployed, they resort to endangering the environment through illegal refinery”.

While recommending that stiff sanctions should be enforced on those who pollute the environment by dumping refuse on water bodies as well as burning tires that produced smoke, the lecturer also recommended that monitoring is very key in every pollution control and management. 

“We are not expected to wait till problems come before we begin to look for solution.  It is good to continue monitoring so as to know the status present and we will be able to predict what the future will be.

So, given the situation of the environment before now, and of recent, we are able to draw some conclusion that yes there is pollution problem even before now, but the situation is different now why because what is causing the problem now is different from what was causing the problem then.

“As at that time, illegal refinery known as Kpofire were not there, yet there was problem of dust, smoke.  But now, moving from just dust, smoke and vehicular emissions, the type of black carbon coming out to the environment now was not as at that time. 

“That creates the difference.  That is why we looked at the problems related with breathing poor air quality.  Air quality itself can be indoor as well as outdoor.  In both areas, if the outdoor has helped to aggravate the indoor, even if you close your windows and doors, the air is so tinny that the particles will still penetrate”, he postulated.

While the lecture was punctuated by intermittent applause from the audience, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule urged the gathering inculcate the culture of keeping the environment clean and safe at all times, adding that such habit would enhance good living and longer life.


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