African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1070

Full Length Research Paper

Residents’ perception of the effects of soot pollution in Rivers State, Nigeria

Mina Whyte
  • Mina Whyte
  • Department of Planning, Research and Statistics, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, Rivers State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Tamuno-Wari Numbere
  • Tamuno-Wari Numbere
  • Department of Public Health, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Rivers State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar
Kabari Sam
  • Kabari Sam
  • Environment and Conservation Unit, Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Rivers State, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 27 September 2020
  •  Accepted: 01 December 2020
  •  Published: 31 December 2020


Air pollution is a growing cause of morbidity and mortality globally. Nigeria is confronted with rising air pollution concerns due to activities of extractives, industrialisation and high population growth rate. Many areas of Rivers State, which provide 60% of Nigeria’s crude oil output, have recently been experiencing visible fallout of soot. To assess the perception of residents of Rivers State on the current soot pollution, a cross-sectional study was undertaken via an online survey among people residing in the state who were literate and had access to internet-enabled devices. Results indicated that most respondents (81.5%) were aware of the soot pollution and perceived the main causes of soot to be from artisanal refining of crude oil (87.8%) and burning of confiscated crude oil and its products (76.5%). Majority also perceived that the soot had caused them chronic cough (69.9%) and irritation to eyes, nose and throat (64.2%). Female respondents were significantly more likely (AOR=1.38 CI = 1.02, 1.86) to complain of a health effect from soot pollution. There is a critical need to investigate identified sources of soot and mitigate possible impact. Public health campaigns should be launched for adequate risk communication on the adverse effects of soot, with attention given to gender-sensitive messages. Relevant authorities should develop stringent policies to prevent soot pollution and improve access to appropriate services to address the health effects.


Key words: Air pollution, soot, health effects, chronic cough, artisanal refining.