A City Fights to #StopTheSoot

210,000 barrels of crude oil are produced each day in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The lead-laced soot spewing from those plants, plus pollution from petrochemical plants and asphalt factories, have seen residents endure oil spills, acid rain, gas flares and hospitals overwhelmed with respiratory conditions.

Local activists—leveraging their cause with #stopthesoot—are calling for illegal refineries to be closed and for their state to sue the federal government over inaction. The WHO and UNEP officials have begun a fact-finding mission in the city, but activists are managing expectations: "Knowing the government, this is hardly realistic, but we are here to keep trying,” says Sandra Ezekwesili.


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