As Osun devotees and tourists all over the world converged on Osogbo, the Osun State capital for the grand finale of the annual Osun-Osogbo Festival on Friday, the Osun State government has warned against drinking water from the contaminated river.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, who gave the warning on Thursday in Osogbo, said government 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.
“T. are radio jingles on the health hazard of drinking water from the Osun River due to contamination.
“However, this is a cultural thing and no matter how hard you try, some people will not oblige, but we will continue to sensitise them.
“T. may not be a quick-fix to this pollution, but as a government, we will continue to do the needful.
“Government has taken cognisance of this pollution and is working really hard to prevent the activities of artisanal miners.
“It is a menace; it is very difficult, but we cannot fold our arms,’’ the Commissioner stressed.
Isamotu said public health officials would be at the Osun-Osogbo Grove during the festival to further sensitise people on the dangers of drinking water from Osun River.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Osun Osogbo Festival is an annual event usually celebrated in August at the Osun sacred grove, in worship of the goddess of fertility.
According to the curator and site manager of Osun Osogbo Grove, Adekunle Fatai, no fewer than 60,000 devotees and tourists are expected at the grand finale this Friday.
The river is said to have been contaminated with mercury, lead, cyanide and other injurious elements that are poisonous to human health owing to the activities of artisanal miners in the State.
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.
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