From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Residents of Nomeh, Unateze, Mburumbu and Nkerefi communities in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State are currently living in fear. The Nyuna River, the only source of water for the communities, has allegedly turned red, appearing like blood.
Community members, who raised the alarm following the unusual incidence, said they suspected that activities of fishermen and bandits might have led to the sudden occurrence. However, it was also suspected that an ethanol production company located in Ituku Ozalla area of the state might have dumped wastewater into the river.
In a bid to arrest the situation and avoid an epidemic, the state governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi dispatched a team of experts led by his Special Adviser on Water Resources, Chief Dubem Onyia on a fact-finding visit to the site.
The state government’s team, after the investigation, said that there was indeed some contamination. The team collected water samples for further laboratory tests.
The team also discovered that the contamination has destroyed all living organisms in the river including fishes. They also discovered that the water body was now emitting some odour.
Addressing the people of the communities, Chief Onyia, who expressed the state government’s concern, advised the people of the communities to avoid water from the river.
He assured that the state government was already considering emergency interventions such as drilling of boreholes for the affected communities prior to the river clean-up exercise.
Onyia disclosed that state government would take further action as soon as laboratory tests and more contact tracing were completed.