Osun river has been highly polluted with heavy metals - Urban Alert


It has been confirmed that gold mining is responsible for the colour change of the Osun River.

The colour changes as confirmed by experts is the result of the use of heavy metals like lead and mercury in the processing of gold.

Stating this on Friday in Osogbo on a radio current affairs programme, Anthony Adejuwon, Team Lead of Urban Alert, a Non-Governmental Organisation said the case of pollution of the Osun River is serious because the gold miners use the river to wash sediments from their digs.

Adejuwon revealed that since the river passes through 20 communities along its course, inhabitants of the communities stand the risk of the dangers posed by the pollutants.

The Urban Alert team lead claimed the state government only took action on the peoples complaints after the State Assembly oversight committee confirmed that the river was already polluted.

He explained that scientists from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife undertook a microbial and physicochemical test on the river and arrived at the shocking results.

He informed that the scientists found that mining sites in Osun, Esa-Odo town and some towns in Obokun local government were affected while the body of water in Kajola dam has been changed to brown.

In his words, “Osun River is part of Osun Osogbo sacred grove which is a point of attraction for local and international tourists.

“It flows from Osogbo, to Ede, Asejire and then into Oyo State. Due to its flow into Asejire dam, the waterworks situated on the river has been forced to spend more in its purification method.”

While maintaining that the Osun devotees have made all overtures to get the government to intervene, Adejuwon held that the development has not gotten the desired attention.

He also added that despite Osun devotees belief that the river is still potent, they were now beginning to show signs of worry about the health of the river.

While condemning the on-the-spot assessment of government as ineffective, he maintained that the state government has the power to act through the land use act rather than giving excuses that mining is on the exclusive list.

Calling on the people to speak up to prevent unnecessary deaths, he disclosed that everybody is at risk because the impact is dormant adding that the possibility of serious health issues cropping up in the future is feasible.

The Urban Alert Team Lead called on the federal government to step into the situation and proffer solutions.

He advocated joint efforts to stop the pollutants which have been scientifically proven to be 8,000 to 21,000 percent above the permissible levels.

“We have sent electronic mails to the state governor, the three senators in the state because the river flows into Osun from the East, through the Central and flows out through the West.”

According to him, mercury and lead have adverse effects on women and children.

The Osun Rivers has its source in Igede-Ekiti through Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and then into the lagoon.

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