Report on Interest
under logo

Osun Govt. warns against drinking river water during festival

By Esther Kalu

The Osun State Government has warned tourists, devotees and visitors against drinking water from the Osun River over contamination during the annual festival.

It said that it had embarked on the sensitisation to discourage people from drinking the water during the festival as it had been contaminated by the activities of artisanal miners and not good for human consumption.

The Commissioner for Health, Rafiu Isamotu disclosed that there are radio jingles on the health hazard of drinking water from the Osun River due to contamination.

He said that the festival was a cultural thing and no matter how hard they try, some people woi not oblige, but they would continue to sensitise them.

“There may not be a quick fix to this pollution, but as government, we will continue to do the needful.

“Government has taken cognizance of this pollution and working really hard to prevent the activities of artisanal miners. “It is a menace; it very difficult, but we cannot fold our arms,’’ he said.

Isamotu, speaking to newsmen on Thursday, in Osogbo said that public health officials would be at the grove during the festival to further sensitise people on the dangers of drinking the water.

As gathered, the Osun Osogbo Festival is an annual event usually celebrated in August at the Osun sacred grove, in worship of the goddess of fertility. The festival is usually attended by tourists from all over the world, as well as Osun devotees.

During the festival, tourists, visitors and devotees drink from the Osun River for its perceived divination, while some take the water home to bathe with.

According to the Curator and site Manager of Osun Osogbo Grove, Mr Adekunle Fatai, no fewer than 60,000 devotees and tourists are expected at the grand finale on Friday.

The river is said to have been heavily contaminated with mercury, lead, cyanide and other injurious elements that are poisonous to human health.

A Geographical Information Analysis and Laboratory Tests carried out by a Non-governmental Organisation, Urban Alert, also affirmed the presence of heavy elements in the water.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: