Metro

Residents of Anambra community abandon homes over pollution from rice mill

Some residents of Ndam village in Nnobi community, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, have abandoned their homes, following pollution of their environment by a recently established company, Seaman Rice Mill.

Indigenes of the village who spoke to journalists decried the establishment of a rice mill within their residential area, while also complaining of foul smell and emission of harmful black smoke into the air, which has covered the entire area.

Spokesman of the affected families, Mr John Enwedo, in an interview with journalists, said: “The rice mill was sited here last year. When the production started, we noticed very dark smoke coming from the factory and our entire kindred is now covered with smoke. Many people around started experiencing itching on their eyes and other body rashes.

“The noise from the factory does not allow us to sleep. My aged mother has been falling sick frequently since the factory started operation. She too has rashes all over her body.

“As you see this houses, we no longer sleep here. The soots emitted by the milling machine covers our entire environment. You cannot keep water outside and hope to still use it because once you return, it has turned black. We cannot also fetch rain water from our roof because our roof is already covered with this black soots.

“Apart from that, the noise of the machine does not let anyone here to sleep. People have abandoned their homes. We are begging Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to come to our aide.

“This is not the kind of factory you build in residential areas, and as it stands, we do not know if a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) was carried out before the siting of the industry.

“We want the factory to be removed completely because this is a residential area. This is not an industrial area where factory of this nature should be sited.”

When journalists contacted the chairman of Seaman Rice Mill, Mr Emeka Agbanari, he said he has received the complaint, and that the matter was being resolved.

“This is a new industry, and we are still test-running the machines and you know that in the process of test-run, there would always be errors of this nature. We are fixing the problem. We are working on it presently and the people who installed the machines are on ground working on it,” he said.



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