As the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) declared that Ogoniland are exposed to contaminated air and water especially benzene, it has been discovered that some women in Ogoni now used different chemicals for dry fish preservation.
The revelation was made by Miss Martha Agbani, the Exceutive Director of Lokiaka Community Development Centre (LCDC) during series of community sensitization programme which ended in a town hall meeting at MOSOP peace centre Bori.
The director observed that dry fish and crayfish business women now used shoe polish, insecticides and pesticides which are harmful to human body to preserve their dryfish.
The women shared that the used small quantities of chemicals to dispel or prevent insect and pest from getting into their dry fish and crayfish respectively.
Miss Agbani described the act as “An inadvertent means of introducing substances with causative harm and latent death effects to human system” she stated.
According to the Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (pops) such chemical toxics are classified as organic compounds which cause disorders of the central nervous system that resulted into Parkinson disease, still birth, miscarriages, infertility, memory loss and cancer among others.
Participants at the town hall meeting stated that the many years of oil spills and environmental pollution over the decades destroyed marine lives including fishes, farmland which rendered the people economically disadvantage which has resulted to the sudden fish business in the area.
Those that attended the meeting suggested the following way out of the present health challenges in Ogoniland, that consumer rights and protection should be strengthened.
That government at all level should set up committee to monitor activities of fish sellers whether dry or frozen-fish aim at arresting culprit while suggesting that training and sensitization be extended to other parts of the state including fishing settlement.
The people therefore appeal to government to provide fish drying machines and proper storage system to avoid the trend.