Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Between September and November 2018, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had witnessed a slight earthwake which scientists described as tremor.
Prior to September, tremor was not a common occurrence in Africa let alone in Nigeria or FCT.
The frequent incidences of tremors in this part of the country is now a source of concern for residents of Abuja. Scientists said that the cause of the tremor is indiscriminate blasting of rocks and so called on the regulatory authorities to check illegal mining and indiscriminate blasting of rocks.
They said that persistent and uncontrolled blasting of rocks through the use of powerful explosives and heavy duty machines could lead to earth movements. President of Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Professor Mosto Onuoha, said rock blasting may be responsible for the earth movements.
“The use of explosives to break or blast rocks would have vibrating power and ability to the last end of the rock.
“It will get to the stage that could be seen visibly and to the bottom of the ground where we cannot see but where the rock has ended. “When this action is continuous, the vibration from the rocks blasted with explosives will be transmitted to the body-like water that is already settled under the ground.
“The release of the vibration in form of energy back to the earth will lead to earth-shaking.
“ The FCT Emergency Management Agency, National Agency for Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA) and other relevant organisations should continue to monitor the situation in Abuja and in other places,’’ he said.
In the same vein, a former Director of Technology Acquisition and Adaption in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Adeneye Talabi, urged the Federal Government to enforce all existing rules on the exploitation of natural resources.
Similarly, in the last few days, there has been a high rate of water consumption in the city, a situation that has encouraged the business of borehole drilling in the FCT.
In a normal day during the dry season, Abuja records over 35 degrees celsius or 40 degrees celsius so making the residents and every living organism to demand water excessively.
Unfortunately, the only source of water is through borehole and every house needs water.
So, if there are over 200 million houses in FCT, it is safe to say that there are over 200 million holes in FCT and these have a negative impact on the earth.
The constant demand for drilling services has necessitated the proliferation of borehole drilling business to the extent that over 35 registered borehole companies and over 100 unregistered ones operate in Abuja alone.
Some of the registered borehole firms include, Aqua Drill Nigeria Limited, AW-DROP, Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria, Diamond Boreholes Limited, Geo Drill Global Services, Legend Drill Tech Limited, Nile Drill Tech Limited, Pivot Engineering Company Limited and Rockwell Exploration Limited.
Others are Sure Drill Well Tech Limited, Afosino Drill Development Company, Alpha Drill Nigeria Limited, Titicol Andy Limited, Stoneage Construction Company Limited and Shebach Drill Limited.
According to the manager of one of the companies, the soil geology plays a major part in the cost of drilling the
“We are aware that our borehole drilling equipment is the best in the market in comparison to others being used by other borehole drillers. Building a water borehole on a land filled with rocks will ultimately attract a higher cost than one being drilled on a land with less hard and stony surfaces” he said.
In view of the threat of excessive drilling in the city, some of the residents have called on the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development and Environment to ensure that the activities of these companies are controlled.
Papa Aisha who is a beneficiary of borehole water said that even-though he is one of those that are using borehole water, the government should check their excesses.