Africa

Nigeria's Port Harcourt covered in mystery cloud of soot

The Nigerian city of Port Harcourt used to be known as "The Garden City". However, it has recently been covered in a blanket of black soot, which has prompted the federal government to declare a pollution emergency there.

Port Harcourt, usually known as the Garden City, is now hardly recognisable under the curtain of cloud that has wrapped it since November 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Port Harcourt is hardly recognisable under the cloud of think could of soot and smog that has covered it since November 2016.
A rickshaw carries passengers through smoke emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt Image copyright AFP
Image caption The smog has led the federal government to declare an emergency in Port Harcourt, while some local factories have been closed.
A rickshaw carries passengers through smoke emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt Image copyright AFP
Image caption The cause of the smog is not clear but some have blamed illegal oil refineries or the practice of burning tyres.
A man holds out his soot covered hand that he used to illustrate how much soot covered the bonnet of his car. Image copyright AFP
Image caption This is what happens if you wipe your hand on an exposed surface, such as a parked car.
"Soot fall" on bonnets of cars provide evidence on the concentration of particles in the air Image copyright AFP
Image caption Local residents have mobilised using the hashtag #StopTheSoot.
An attendant wipes clean black soot covering a car Image copyright AFP
Image caption It has become impossible to keep cars clean.
A man shields his nostrils in an attempt to avoid breathing the fumes Image copyright AFP
Image caption Local residents are increasingly worried about their health.
A roadside mechanic repairs electricity generators that are believed to contribute to the pollution Image copyright AFP
Image caption However, daily life carries on as much as possible.
A woman walks through the smoke emitted from a dump Image copyright AFP
Image caption People still have to go the market to buy and sell food.
A school boy walks past smoke and fumes emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt. Image copyright AFP
Image caption And children still have to go to school...
A schoolgirl walks past smoke emitted from a dump in the city of Port Harcourt. Image copyright AFP
Image caption However bad the smog is.
A local cobbler walk past smoke emitting from a dump Image copyright AFP
Image caption While street vendors and cobbler still brave the smoke to earn their living.

Photos courtesy of AFP/Getty Images.

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