Living in an oil rich region, could be described as sitting on money, but in Koko community in Delta State, it is not the same, as the environment is becoming life-threatening to dwellers.  

Residents of the community in Warri are at risk of untimely death and other related health issues as a result of Toxic waste dumped in the community.

Alarmed by the risk brought to their knowledge, members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution to investigate the claims to avert failure of human organs.

Daniel Reyenieju, from Delta State had raised a motion entitled "Need to Investigate the Dumping of Toxic Waste in Koko Community of Warri Federal Constituency of Delta State".

He told fellow lawmakers that in June 1988, toxic waste was dumped in Koko which resulted to illnesses and environmental damages to aquatic life of the people who predominantly engage in fishing.

Giving a breakdown of how many times the dumping of toxic had happened, Mr Reyenieju said that apart from the incidence that happened in 1988, there was recurrence in 2017 which violates the environmental guideline and standard for the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

Considered Hazardous

The lawmaker said that 80 per cent of oily sludge is considered hazardous because of the presence of toxic organics such as aromatics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and complex compounds with very high molecular weights.

"The consumption or absorption of toxic and carcinogenic contaminants by plants and lower animals will ultimately lead to bioaccumulation in humans from food chain in nature which will result in failure of organs and ultimately death.

"During the rainy season, surface and underground water which is the source of drinking water for the people is gravely contaminated through seepage of toxic and carcinogenic substances into aquifer.

"The area around the dump site is residential and a primary school, with its numerous pupils and teachers, also share a common perimeter fence with the dump site facility," Reyenieju further stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that after bringing the situation in Koko to the notice of the lawmakers, the House mandated its Committees on Environment and Habitat, Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Gas Resources to investigate the extent of the environmental impact of the toxic waste on the community.

The relevant committees were also asked to report back their findings within four weeks for further legislative action.