How Suleja community live in fear as soot from abattoir threatens health, by Haruna A. Yusuf

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How Suleja community live in fear as soot from abattoir threatens health, by Haruna A. Yusuf

Activities of abattoir in Suleja, Niger State have become a threat to the host community.

Mrs Martha Jiya is a Housewife who lives close to the abattoir community (Angwua Kuata) in Suleja. According to her, she fell sick around the year 2020 and went to the hospital where it was confirmed that she had a chronic cough.

Jiya has been living there for the past five years and in her view, living there has been a nightmare because she has to sweep and mop the tiles twice daily due to the dark smoke resulting from activities of abattoir.

“Aside from constant cleaning of the house, you can’t even buy furniture- for example, if you check our chairs down to our mattresses, everything is black because of the smoke from there,” she said.

She also said that she was worried about their continuous living in the abattoir community because of accumulating effects of the smoke.

“There was a time I fell sick in 2020. I had a cough and runny nose. Whenever I sneezed, I would see black (in the mucous) and blood, even the cough comes with blood. I ran a series of tests and thought I had COVID but it’s smoke coming from the abattoir,” she said.

Neptune Prime spoke with a worker at the abattoir called Isah shap- shap, who said, “I roast cow heads and legs. We don’t use tyres to roast them but firewood and it doesn’t generate much smoke to the extent of affecting the community.

“The reason why you see us doing our business here is because this place was allocated to us by the management of abattoir. In the past, we were using tyres to make fire and roast the cow head and leg but now we use just firewood,” he said.

A resident, who chose to be anonymous said, “It is a waste of resources to build in this place. I am an officer and I hardly stay at home to rest when the smoke starts. I have equally reported the issue to their leader but he never takes it seriously. So, that’s how we have been living here.

He complained further saying, “Take a look at the roofing, tiles and the wall, how dark they have become.”

At Suleja Local Government Secretariat, Neptune Prime made an effort to speak with local authorities concerned but they all declined. The Director of social development refused to talk and the Director of Health also refused to pick calls or respond to text messages.

Seeking an expert’s opinion was the next step. At Liberty Hospital Suleja, Dr Ohagim Ronald Emeka, a Medical officer, said that any community that is exposed to such environmental defects could experience heat, skin challenges and different types of lung diseases.

He further explained “If you now come to pure medical diseases that they may encounter, they may be at risk of different lung diseases such as emphysema or lung cancer,” he warned.

Google check revealed that emphysema is a disease of the lung caused by smoke, exposure to air pollution such as chemical fumes, dust and other substances.

How Suleja community live in fear as soot from abattoir threatens health, by Haruna A. Yusuf

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