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 Bush-burning triggers health disorders in Bayelsa

Bush-burning triggers health disorders in Bayelsa

WIDESPREAD bush burning for the new farming season in the predominantly riverine Bayelsa State is causing health complications for residents, who have complained about clogging smoke in the atmosphere, and pollution of the environment.

Choking air – Amaebi, resident

A concerned resident, Clarkson Amaebi, said: “This is disturbing, especially with the choking smoke in the air and its implication on human health and the environment.

“”The heavy dust in the air and smoke from rampant bush burning have severely limited visibility, even on land not to talk of the riverine enclave. 

“Travelling by boat this time of the year is risky because of the heavy blanket of smoke along the creek and waterways.

“”Many people are using face masks because of the smoke and dust in the air, and we are now compelled to mop the floor of our homes daily because black smoke easily covers all surfaces just as the underneath of our feet are always covered with black soot.

“Catarrh has become a regular occurrence for my children and me. Even when one spits, it comes out black. If you put your hand inside your nose, it is black,” he lamented.

Camp down on perpetrators —Daumiebi, inhabitant

Another inhabitant, Jane Daumiebi, decried what she described as “the ongoing assault on the environment occasioned by the rampant bush and open garbage burning in Yenagoa and its environs and its implication on the health of residents.

“The disturbing trend is that some persons do not clear their farmlands again, but set fire to the land and before you know it, it spreads far into the areas not planned for, and pollutes the entire environment, causing thick smoke in the atmosphere.

“Until the government embarks on aggressive and stringent measures to clamp down on the perpetrators, it will not stop.”

Smoke everywhere —Godwin

Lucky Godwin said: “For the past weeks, the atmosphere of Yenagoa metropolis and its environs has been enveloped in a haze of smoke from bush burning. It is high time the state government did something to curb bush burning. Every effort to reduce or halt this smoky haze that puts residents in such terrible discomfort would be appreciated.”

My children down with catarrh—Willie, dweller

Paye Willie, a resident of Imiringi said: “My children had runny noses and catarrh. I took them to the hospital where they were treated. The doctor blamed the rising cases of cough and catarrh in town on bush burning by the farmers and those setting fire to refuse dumps.”

 Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Government blamed the choking smoke in town on the indiscriminate bush and open garbage burning by some unscrupulous elements and put in place a committee to curb the menace.

Govt sets up committee to tackle threat

The Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri, inaugurated the 13-member committee headed by Akpoebi Agberebi.

 He charged the committee to complement government’s efforts in maintaining a safe, healthy, and sanitized environment, and fight the current menace of unlawful and indiscriminate bush and open garbage burning currently facing the state, adding that their assignment was with immediate effect. (Vanguard)

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