The people of Nomeh community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State have decried the pollution of their stream, Nvuna, with industrial and chemical waste.
The community alleged that an ethanol producing factory, D-HAP Enterprises Services Limited, was behind their ordeal.
Speaking to our correspondent, the Councillor of Nomeh Ward, Chinwolu Anichukwu, said the stream, which was the only source of water for the rural community during the dry season, was polluted to the extent that livestock that drank from it died.
Anichukwu, who said the matter had been reported to relevant authorities, disclosed that his community discovered the incident on March 15, 2021.
He said, “We woke to what had never been witnessed in Nomeh since the days of our ancestors; the stream turned red. It was like a dream and our people could not fetch water from it.
“Nvuna River, in Nomeh Unataeze, is heavily polluted with a poisonous substance. The water is now dark red with a pungent smell; the fishes in the river are dying. Two livestock that drank from it died a few minutes after. We fear long term health and environmental consequences.
“We mobilised our neighbourhood security watch to trace the problem along the stream from Nomeh to Nenwe, Ugbawka, Amuri, Ogbaku, Agbogugu and to Ozalla Old Road. It was on the second day that we discovered a factory called D-HAP, which we were informed is an ethanol producing factory. We are, however, consoled that the Enugu State Government is giving the matter the attention it requires.”
The Chairman, Amigbo Unity Association, Nomeh, Daniel Anyimkpuma, while lamenting the hardship members of the community were going through, called for the immediate sealing of the factory.
“Some representatives of the company came to Nomeh on Wednesday over the incident. They didn’t bring water or anything to ameliorate the suffering of the people. We only asked them to go to our stream and see things for themselves and return another day,” he added.
Addressing journalists shortly after inspecting the factory facilities on Friday, the state Commissioner for the Environment, Chijoke Edeoga, directed the immediate suspension of activities in the firm pending the completion of investigation, reassessment and meeting of requisite standards.
The Manager of the D-HAP Integrated Services Limited, Mr Ndubuisi Onuko, said he could not speak on the matter.
He said, “Please I can’t speak on this matter. The management is handling it.”
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