In Delta Medical expert recommends severe punishment for illegal toxic waste disposal

Onyemekeihia said toxic waste could also have ripple effect on the environment and aquatic lives.

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Niger Delta play

Fishing communities in the Niger Delta badly hit by oil spills (This picture is for illustrative purposes).

(Reuters)
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A medical expert, Dr Raphael Onyemekeihia, has called for stringent punishment against individuals and organisations engaged in illegal dumping of toxic waste in Delta.

Onyemekeihia was reacting on Thursday to alleged dumping of toxic waste in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Warri that the action of Ebenco Global Link, the alleged perpetrator of the act, was capable of destroying the health of the people particularly the kidney.

It would be recalled that the company was picketed recently by some concerned Koko indigenes over alleged dumping of toxic waste.

Onyemekeihia, a consultant and Nephrologist at the Central Hospital, Warri, said toxic waste could have attendant consequences on human and the ecosystem at both short and long terms.

He said “The effect of toxic waste depending on the type is worse in pregnant women because it can cause deformity in unborn babies.

“It also has a way of getting accident in the development of a growing child as some of the chemicals can do more harm on a growing child than adults.

“It can also cause pulmonary problem like cancer of the lungs, pneumonia and other air-borne disease.

“Gastrol intestinal problem like diarrhea and vomiting can also occur because of the toxic and infectious pathogens, every health complications attributable to infection is likely to occur.’’

Onyemekeihia said toxic waste could also have ripple effect on the environment and aquatic lives.

“There will be stunted growth of plants and by implication less food to eat and malnutrition sets in.

“It will also affect animals in the sea.

“Let me make it clear that it is not only what you eat that can cause problem in this circumstance, what you drink, even if you do not drink from it directly, it has a way of entering the borehole and you drink from it,” he said.

The consultant, who advocated for proper ways of disposing toxic waste, also urged the government to subject the people of Koko community to health screening.

“Koko people should wake up; youths should spread their tentacles so that such products do not find its way into the community.

“Toxic waste can reduce life expectancy, so residents of the affected communities should watch out,” he said.

He advised Koko residents to be vigilant and monitor people bringing in suspected substances into the community.

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