Indigenes of Aro Ajatakiri, Ajata-na-Igu Autonomous Community in Ikwuano Local Government Area, have been advised to desist from making further use of the community stream.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Philemon Asonye Ogbonna, said this has become expedient, following the investigation and feasibility study of the stream and its area, which is currently being carried out by the state Ministry of Environment.
According to him, the probe was sequel to the contamination and sudden colouration of the stream, leading to the deaths of fish, crabs, and other aquatic life.
He urged members of the community not to use the water for any purpose, pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
The statement read: “It has come to the notice of the Abia State Government through the Ministry of Environment that the Aro Ajatakiri Community stream situated and lying at Aro Ajatakiri in Ajate-na-Igu Autonomous Community in Ikwuano LGA of Abia State has been contaminated and unfit for human consumption and use.
“In furtherance of this report of the above-stated health hazard, the Ministry of Environment, Abia State, wishes to inform the members of the said community and the general public to desist henceforth from making further use of the community stream, pending the investigation and feasibility study of the stream and its area, which is currently being carried out by the state Ministry of Environment.
“Please be guided accordingly and ensure total compliance. An investigation is still on. We want to establish it. We don’t want to base it on suspicion. The team investigating it is already doing that.
“The water colour changed to something else that is not what it used to be. The investigating team went there and interacted with the community members, who informed them that fish were dying in that stream and that some fish ponds were affected by their fish dying.
“So, by that, the water has been contaminated, and we are trying to establish the source of contamination and what is likely to be waste from companies around. We want to be very meticulous in what we are doing to enable us to pin down the source of contamination based on proper investigation.”
The traditional ruler of the community, King Larry Agwu, who also confirmed the contamination, said the community could not establish the real cause of the contamination.