The Abia State Government has raised concerns over the discoloration of a community stream in Aro Ajatakiri, located within the Ajata-na-Igu Autonomous Community in Ikwuano Local Government Area. Reports indicate that the water’s unusual hue has coincided with the death of fish in both the stream and nearby ponds, prompting the issuance of a health alert by the state authorities.
The government, through the Ministry of Environment, has advised residents to refrain from utilizing the water until a comprehensive investigation is completed.
In a statement released by Mr. Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, the Commissioner for Environment, the government emphasized the unsuitability of the contaminated water for human consumption and general use. The ministry has undertaken to conduct a thorough feasibility study and investigation into the affected stream and its environs.
This initiative aims to ascertain the root cause of the contamination, thereby facilitating informed decision-making and appropriate remedial actions.
Ogbonna further elaborated on the ongoing investigation, stressing the importance of establishing conclusive evidence rather than relying solely on conjecture. The altered coloration of the water, coupled with reports of fish mortality, has raised suspicions of industrial waste as a potential source of contamination.
The investigative team is meticulously scrutinizing various factors to pinpoint the exact origin of the pollution, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
Meanwhile, the traditional ruler of the community, King Larry Agwu, has acknowledged awareness of the issue, indicating initial difficulties in identifying the precise cause of the contamination. While suspicions have been raised regarding the use of certain fishing chemicals, conclusive evidence is yet to be established.
Efforts to ascertain the readiness of the state’s health ministry, led by Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, to address potential health implications have encountered obstacles, as official statements from the ministry were not forthcoming at the time of reporting.