*We’re at risk of epidemic due to air pollution -George Ekong

By our Correspondents

Indigenes and residents of Nnung Ukot Itam (off Idoro Road, Uyo) Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State have cried out to the governor of the State, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Eno to come to their aid as according to them, the construction company in their community, BASSE Engineering Company, an Asphalt Plant Site has destroyed their access road.

Some of the affected residents while speaking to our Correspondents on Thursday during a heavy downpour that rendered the said road impassable, also lamented that they were at the risk of suffering deadly diseases due to constant air pollution resulting from the activities of the company.

Our correspondents who were at the scene during the downpour captured though unpleasant, some school pupils ‘swimming’ the flooded road to their schools in the early hours of Thursday.

Our respondents at the scene accused the CEO of the company,  Mr. Bassey Ekanem, who is also an indigene of Itu LGA, of being insensitive to the plight of the residents of the area. They alleged that instead of helping the community by grading the road as his Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), he (Mr. Bassey Ekanem) was worsening the situation by channelling the flood waters from his company into the road.

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“We have suffered unexplainable effects of the operations of this company”, George Ekong, one of the residents told our correspondent adding that “a company such as this was supposed to be a blessing to this area, rather, it’s totally becoming a curse”.

Continuing, he said, pointing to the pupils ‘swimming’ the heavy flood waters “look at the school children suffering. This is how they’ve been suffering during rainy season for years. This is after they have waited for hours thinking that the flood water level will reduce for them to trek to their schools.

This is totally unacceptable”

Conducting our correspondent round the affected area, George pointed to a drainage hole at the basement of BASSE Engineering fence where flood water was being channelled to the road, causing serious flooding.

“This is the real cause of the problem. This is where the flood waters come from. As a community, we have made several efforts to reach him to assist us by using his construction equipments to grade this road. But, instead of helping, he is destroying it by channelling the flood waters into it.

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Even when one of us residing in this community was helping by taking it upon himself to be grading this road for years, the owner of this company (Bassey Ekanem) refused to assist. Meanwhile, we are at risk of suffering deadly disease due to air pollution.

This is an asphalt plant here and the thick smoke produced when refining the asphalt is polluting the air and also damaging our ecosystem.

We hereby plead and call on our dear governor, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno to come to our aid before a child gets injured or drowned in this heavy flood”.

Efforts to speak to the CEO of the company, Mr. Bassey Ekanem were unsuccessful as he was said to be unavailable when our correspondents visited his Number 73 Idoro Road, Uyo office.

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