Home » Ondo community accuses company of polluting river, environment

Ondo community accuses company of polluting river, environment

by Zakariyyah Mukhtar

Ondo community accuses company of polluting river, environment

The Obatedo community in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State has cried out to the state government to intervene in the pollution of their river by a company waste being allegedly dumped into the river called Oluwa River.

To this end, the community has sent a petition to the Ondo State Environmental Protection Agency in order to call the company- the Wee-Wood Industries Limited, to stop dumping industrial waste into the river. It alleged that the waste had polluted the river, making it not usable for domestic use.

In the petition filed by the community’s lawyer, Mr Busayo Oroyo, and made available to our correspondent on Monday, the community said there was a need for the urgent intervention of the government in order to avoid the matter from degenerating to communal crisis between the community and the company.

The petition read, ” We have the instruction of our client to forward this petition to your office, informing your office of indiscriminate dumping of industrial wastes on our client’s river which serves as water for their domestic use and further pollution of the environment by the said industrial wastes and the need for your office to invite the company (Wee-Wood Industries Limited) and our client to your office for discussion over the incessant dumping of chemical effluents into our client’s river and land which is posing serious danger and health hazard to the inhabitants of our client and their environment.

“You will recall, that Ondo State Government through State Environmental Protection Agency initiated a stakeholder forum at Okitipupa on 12th day of January, 2023, over the working environment of Wee- Wood Industries Limited whereat our client informed the government of the matter pending in Court in Suit HOK/15/2022, over pollution of their environment in which your office promised that further meetings would be called to resolve the matter which meeting was never called till today.

“We have the instruction of our client to forward this petition to your office, to inform your office of further dumping of chemical waste by Wee-Wood Industries Limited on Oluwa River which servers as our client’s source of water which has polluted the said water being used for domestic purposes notwithstanding your admonition to the company at the said stakeholders’ forum at Okitipupa and the pending matter in court.

“We have the firm instruction of our client to inform your office that on 19th day of April, 2023, Wee-Wood Industries Limited dumped another industrial waste on our client’s environment and Oluwa River which flowed directly into Obatedo water and the company has done nothing to clean up the waters notwithstanding our client’s calls to the company’s community relation manager. Photographs of the industrial waste as dumped on the environment and the river are herewith attached for your records and ease of reference.”

It urged the government to invite the community and company for immediate resolution of the incessant and recurring, pollution so as to “nib in the bud” the ugly occurrences and to forestall the matter from degenerating into serious face-off between our client and Wee-Wood Industries Limited.

The petition stressed that the health and lives of those living in the community cannot be sacrificed on the altar of revenue generation by the company and the government and urged the government to attend to the matter swiftly.

However, the Public Relations Officer of the company, Mr Adewale Omolayo denied the allegation, saying the matter came up almost two years ago and it had been discovered that there was no pollution.

According to him, the company didn’t dump any waste into the river. “Such allegations came up some years back and not right now and the government has intervened, they did their investigation and discovered it was not so. In our company we have a waste management plan and there is nothing like water pollution. Moreso, the matter is already in court and I will not like to talk much on it,” Omolayo explained.

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