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Environment

Contaminated water: KEPA provides alternative water supply to Zaria community

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Following the contamination of water wells in Mallawa Community in Zaria Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State, the Kaduna Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) on Wednesday made arrangements for alternative water supply in the community.

Usman Lawal, Director, Public Health and Laboratory Science, KEPA, made this known during a visit to the Chairman, Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where four filling stations were alleged to be the cause of the water pollution.

According to him, the mandate of KEPA is to ensure environmental protection by safeguarding public health.

“The Mallawa community filed a complaint over contamination of well water with oily pollutant.

“As an environmental protection agency, our mandate is to safeguard public health and ensure environmental assets are protected,’’ Lawal said.

He said that the agency had collected samples from the affected area, which were analysed and confirmed that the water contained petroleum products of hydro carbon which is responsible for many environmental health hazards.

“We have taken so many measures to ensure the polluted water is being analysed to determine the chemical constituents of the pollutant and its source.

“As a result of that, we jointly conducted investigation with relevant agencies to ensure that the people stopped using the polluted water.

“We got the support of the LGA to provide potable water for the community until the investigation is finalised,’’ he said.

Umar Ibrahim, the Deputy Chairman of Zaria LGA said: “We have witnessed the situation and we are providing solutions for the community where its wells and water sources are polluted, possibly by petroleum products’’.

He assured the agency that the local government management would ensure that the state water corporation provides the community with tankers of water.

Ibrahim also promised that the local government management would fast-track the state government’s efforts in ensuring that every house is connected to pipe-borne water.

“This is to avoid hazards that can likely arise from the polluted water,’’ he said.

He advised the community to be patient and not take the laws into their hands as the present administration is responsive to their health and well-being.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that present at the inspection of the polluted area were the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSREA), Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

There were also representatives of the Kaduna State Water Corporation and various stakeholders.

Foreign

S’ Korea raises concerns over Japan’s plan to release contaminated water

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South Korea on Thursday renewed its concerns about Japan’s plan to release contaminated water from its disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination said Japan should ensure that its plan does not affect the health and safety of South Koreans or the maritime ecosystem.

South Korea’s latest move came two days after Tokyo Electric Power, the operator of the ruined nuclear power plant, came up with a plan to release the contaminated water over 30 years.

An estimated 1.1 million tons of tainted water is in temporary storage at the Fukushima plant, which was devastated by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in 2011.

In October 2019, South Korea urged Japan to make efforts to win consensus from neighbouring countries on handling the water at a meeting of the Britain-based International Maritime Organisation.

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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Environment

Majority Nigerians still exposed to unsafe, contaminated water– FG

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The Federal Ministry of Water Resources says it is concerned that majority of Nigerians are still exposed to unsafe and contaminated water.

Mr Emmanuel Awe, the Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation in the ministry, said this on Tuesday in Enugu during a workshop on Water Safety Plan (WSP) for states in the South East.

Awe was represented by the Deputy Director, Water Quality Surveillance, Mrs Rukayyah Bako.

The director said that available statistics were not favourable to the country’s quest of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a standalone Goal 6 for water and sanitation.

He said that it had become imperative for all water service providers including state water agencies and community water committees to develop a WSP in their drinking water supply system.

“This will ensure the minimisation or complete eradication of contamination across the water service delivery chain.

“We are also aware that Nigeria joined comity of 193 nations in putting in place SDGs with a standalone Goal 6 for water to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

“The targets 6.1 and 6.2 for water supply and sanitation have more stringent clause of delivering them as safely managed,” he said.

According to Awe, target 6.3 is strictly on improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated waste water.

He said that Nigeria had not fared too well in the provision of uncontaminated water as could be shown in a recent survey.

He said that a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey conducted in 36 states and the FCT was quite revealing.

“The survey showed that percentage of household drinking water contaminated with E.coli in the homes and at the sources are 90.8 per cent and 77.3 per cent respectively.

“Another data from WASH National Outcome Routine Monitoring in 2018 showed a marginal increase in access to improved water supply to 67.9 per cent with only 3.7 per cent meeting safely managed drinking water services.

“This implies that 96.3 per cent are yet to achieve the target,” he said.

Awe said that the Nigerian Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NIS:554:2015), especially clause 3.24 stipulates that all water service providers must develop a WSP.

An expert, Dr Grace Oluwasanya in a lecture, said that over 80 per cent of the world’s diseases were caused by contaminated water.

Oluwasanya is the acting Head, Department of Water Resources Management and Agro-Meterology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.

She said that WSP was introduced in 2004 in the global guidance to preserve public health and ensure that people did not get sick arising from the use of water released by water agencies.

She said that WSP aimed at ensuring safe drinking water through good water supply practice preventing contamination at water sources and preventing re-contamination in distribution and household handling.

The don expressed worry that most water sources were either contaminated by excreta through open defecation, illegal connections or by animal or birds that perch on water tanks.

Oluwasanya appealed to governors of the South East to provide good potable water to their people.

EOA/

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Grace Yussuf

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Foreign

Hanoi’s tap water contaminated with carcinogens — Officials

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A top government official confirmed on Tuesday that tap water across south-east Hanoi is contaminated with styrene, a carcinogenic substance, state media reported on Tuesday.

Since Oct. 10, residents in the Vietnamese capital have encountered polluted water supplies, with many reporting a smell similar to burning plastic coming from their tap water, and have thus turned to bottled water in frustration.

According to newspaper VnExpress, the smell appeared after an unidentified 2.5-ton truck dumped oil into a branch of the Red River, a few hours’ drive north-east of Hanoi, on Oct 8.

Viwasupco, the company in charge of processing water in the area, was reportedly aware of the problem yet had failed to alert officials and continued to supply water to Hanoi.

Hanoi officials say the company needs to take responsibility.

Hoang Van Thuc, deputy head of the Vietnam Environment Administration, called the water pollution a serious and irresponsible act of vandalism that has affected thousands in Hanoi.

On Tuesday, Hanoi city chairman, Nguyen Duc Chung, confirmed in a meeting with Vietnamese President, Nguyen Phu Trong that the company’s water is contaminated.

The chairman added that tests showing styrene levels in the water was nearly four times higher than normal in some areas.

Free water will now be supplied to those affected.

Styrene is an organic compound and flammable liquid used to create polystyrene, fibreglass, rubber and latex.

The World Health Organisation states that acute exposure to styrene vapour causes irritation of the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and central nervous system, while evidence of carcinogenicity has also been observed.

HS/YEE

Edited by Halima Sheji

 

 

 

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Foreign

Netherlands report deaths after eating bacteria-contaminated sausage

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Three people have died in the past two years from eating sausage contaminated with listeria bacteria, Dutch health authorities on Friday said.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) added that listeriosis also had also resulted in a miscarriage.

Listeriosis is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, infants, elderly people and those with a weaker immune system.

The infection is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The RIVM believes the contaminated sausages came from a Dutch company in Aalsmeer.

The company was temporarily closed down by the authorities.

Twenty cases of listeria infection from sausage products have been reported in the Netherlands in the last two years, the RIVM said.

The food inspectorate then used new technology to identify the source. “At present, it is almost certain that the source has been found,” the RIVM announced.

The Aalsmeer Company had recalled around 130 kinds of cold cuts from supermarkets because contamination with listeria could not be ruled out, Dutch media reported on Thursday.

In Germany, two fatal cases, also caused by consumption of contaminated sausage, were reported recently. It is still unclear if there is a connection between the cases.

According to the Dutch company’s website it also exported sausage products to Germany and Belgium.


FAT/HA


(NAN)
Edited by Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Foreign

Japan tells diplomats no decision yet on contaminated Fukushima water

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Japanese Government officials on Wednesday told diplomats they were still considering options for handling contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant amid worries the water may be dumped into the ocean.

A massive body of tainted water – more than a million tons as of August – is building up at the plant, crippled by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as operator Tokyo Electric (Tepco) tries to cool the melted fuel cores by pouring water over them.

Tepco has said it will run out of tank space by mid-2022.

The briefing for embassy officials in Tokyo follows a meeting in August of a government panel of experts looking into ways to solve the water problem.

The final government decision will be made based on a report by the panel.

Asked by one of the participating embassy officials about the timing of the panel decision, Japanese officials said such timing has not been fixed, according to a media briefing held later in the day.

The briefing for diplomats was attended by 27 embassy officials from 22 countries and regions, including South Korea and the U.S.

No protests or demands have been made by the participating diplomats, according to the media briefing.

“With transparency in mind, Japan will continue providing the international community with information (on the Fukushima situation),’’ Koichiro Matsumoto, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Director of International Cooperation said.

Koichiro told diplomats at the start of the meeting, the outset of which was open to media.

The meeting comes after South Korea, locked in a trade and territorial rows with Japan, in September summoned a senior official from the Japanese embassy in Seoul, to ask about Japan’s stance on dealing with the Fukushima water.

But a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said that briefings for diplomats on the matter have been held more than 100 times since the March 2011 disaster.

The one on Wednesday was held to pass information discussed at the latest government panel meeting in August. (NAN)
FAT/AIB

Edited by Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Judiciary

Man sues NBC over alleged contaminated products, seeks N25m compensation

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Man sues NBC over alleged contaminated products, seeks N25m compensation

Contamination

Minna, April 4, 2019 Mr Adewuyi Adewunmi, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Minna, to shut down the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) for alleged sale of contaminated Coca Cola products to Nigerians.

Adewunmi told the court that the bottles of Sprite, product of the company that he bought in large quantity last month, were not healthy for consumption.

NNN reports that joined in the suit are National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigeria Consumer Protection Council (NCPC) as the second and third defendants respectively.

According to the Writ of Summons, the plaintiff, through his Counsel Oyelekan Akingbade, is asking the court to order the first defendant to compensate him with the sum of N25 million to serve as deterrent to other erring companies who take Nigerians for granted.

“We are asking the court to compel the first defendant (NBC) to shut down production across the country pending re-certification by the 2nd defendant.

“We pray the court to compel the third Defendant (NCPC) to carry out an awareness of contaminated products produced by the first defendant across the country; and ensure an immediate confiscation of all such products.

“We seek an order of the Court compelling the first defendant to pay the sum of N20 million to the Plaintiff for psychological trauma and general charges

“And of course award the sum of N5 million as cost of litigation against the first Defendant.”

“The first defendant’s intention is to produce poisonous substance which is injurious to the health of Nigerians.

“This has caused several health problems to many Nigerians who have ended up in various hospitals.”

When the matter came up for mention on Thursday, Counsel to the plaintiff told the court that all parties in the matter had been duly served.

However, Counsel to NBC Amuwa Olatunde, said they were only served on March 28, adding that the law allowed him up to 30 days to file a counter affidavit.

Olatunde prayed the court for an adjournment to enable him file responses.

The court, presided over by Justice Aminu Aliyu, adjourned the matter until May 13, for further mention.

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Economy

Suspected contaminated Johnson’s baby powder: CPC cautions consumers on usage

By Lucy Ogalue

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Contamination

By Lucy Ogalue

Abuja, Feb.  6, 2019 (NNN) The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), has cautioned consumers on the usage of a certain suspected contaminated Johnson’s baby powder.

CPC’s Director-General, Babatunde Irukera gave the warning in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

The product is popularly known as Johnson’s Baby Powder (product of Johnson & Johnson).

A credible judicial process in the United States recently decided that Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Talc (Baby/Body) powder may be harmful and injurious to users.

According to Irukera, a court in the United States decided that the company failed to warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with using its baby and body powder products.

He said the Plaintiffs alleged that asbestos (a known carcinogen, allegedly present in the talc-an ingredient of the products) caused the users to develop ovarian cancer.

“This case is subject to appeal, and J and J has expressed its intention to appeal accordingly.

“The Council considers it important to alert and educate consumers as they make choices with respect to baby and body powders.

“Indeed, regulatory documents filed in the United States reveal that there are more than 9,000 plaintiffs against the company in cases involving their talc body powder.

“The Council notes that scientific findings in support of the decision of the court above are otherwise inconclusive.

“Regardless, a consumer advisory in this regard is appropriate.’’

The director-general said the council was in communication with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on the matter.

He advised consumers to be cautious and to contact NAFDAC, SON or the Council with any questions while considering alternatives such as face/skin powders containing corn starch instead of talc. (NNN)

LCN/EEE

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Edited by Ese E. Ekama

 

 

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Agriculture

Hot foods in polythene bags are contaminated by chemicals, says ecologist

Didigu, the Executive Director, Developing Communities for Sustainability Organisation, an NGO, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Abuja on Monday.

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Foods
By Deji Abdulwahab
Abuja, Jan. 21, 2019 (NNN) An ecologist, Mrs Nnenna Didigu, says hot foods packaged in polythene bags are harmful to human health because they are usually contaminated with the chemicals used in producing the bags.

Didigu, the Executive Director, Developing Communities for Sustainability Organisation, an NGO, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Abuja on Monday.

“Prolific use of polythene bags for packaging hot food items is not only harmful to the people but also to our environment.

“There are various chemicals disseminated from plastic bags like polyvinyl chloride.

“Hot foods packaged in polythene bags are contaminated by these chemicals mostly when they are hot or heated.

“Those chemicals include styrene and bisphenol-A which can cause cancer, heart diseases and harm the reproductive problems,’’ she said.

According to her, the number of people suffering from kidney and throat ailments, cancer and infertility is on the increase in the country.

“The rise in such cases is attributed largely to people eating hot food items carried in polythene or plastic bags.

“When hot food is packed in polythene and plastics, chemical exchange between plastic and food is maximised by high temperature and the nature of the food.

“There have been cases of environmental pollution as a result of used non-degradable polythene materials littered over the places, especially in city centres,’’ Didigu said.

Didigu said that some experts in the health sector revealed that beans meal or “moi-moi’’ wrapped in polythene bag is poisonous.

“Because the bag contains large dosage of dioxins that do not naturally exist in the traditional leaves that was hitherto used in wrapping the beans meal.

“Added to this is the consumption of sachet water exposed to sun at over 280C is poisonous and as such has resulted in many cases of kidney and liver failures among Nigerians,’’ she said.

The executive director said that unfortunately, most people consumed foods that were packaged with plastics.

“Plastic plays a part in every phase of food production and preparation.

 

“Food gets processed on plastic equipment and packaged and shipped in plastic lined boxes and cans.

“At home, we store and reheat leftovers in plastic containers,’’ she said.

According to her, government should intensify efforts to control the problem and conduct awareness programmes against the use of polythene bags for hot food items.

She said that government should adopt best practices of disposal of polythene bags and other plastic materials.

“This can be done through strategic engagements with Civil Society Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations whose mandate is on sustainable environmental practices and community development,’’ she said. (NNN)
ADA/GY
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Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Foreign

Contaminated water supplies suspected in Italy pneumonia outbreak

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Health authorities are investigating an outbreak of pneumonia in Northern Italy which may have been caused by contaminated water supplies.

Cases have been detected in an area about 100 to 120 kilometres east of Milan and stretching up to 60 kilometres south of Lake Garda, a popular resort for German tourists.

Since the start of the month, there have been 138 pneumonia patients in hospitals in the provinces of Brescia and Mantua, a regional health authority spokesperson Loredana Bello told dpa on Monday.

Two people were diagnosed with legionellosis, a severe form of pneumonia caused by the water-borne Legionella bacteria, the spokesperson added.

“We are working really hard to try to ascertain the origin of the pneumonia cases,’’ Regional Health Commissioner Giulio Gallera wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

More than 52 water quality checks in public aqueducts and private homes have been conducted and results are expected in the coming days, Gallera said in interviews with RAI state broadcaster.

Meanwhile, local residents have been urged to take precautions, including cleaning filters on faucets and avoiding taking showers with windows closed.

Legionella-infected water is dangerous if breathed in, and this could happen if mist from a hot shower is not dispersed by fresh air.

Drinking it is OK, as there is no direct contact with lungs.

Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Silas Nwoha
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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