The Aba River, popularly known as ‘Waterside’, is located in the valley between Eziama community and Ogbor Ancient Kingdom – now called Ogbor-Hill, along Ikot Ekpene Road in Aba North Local Government Area of Abia State.
It flows from a place called Ohuru Isimiri in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state across many communities and continues to the famous Azumini Blue River in Ndoki, Ukwa East LGA of Abia State and terminates at the Opobo River, in Rivers State.
Residents, many who used the river’s resources in the past, said it flourished with aquatic lives and was the source of drinking water and other domestic uses for the people of the communities on its banks in the 1970s until the emergence of different companies that no channel their wastes into the water body.
Worse, the presence of a cattle market nicknamed ‘Ahiaudele’ (market of vultures) which has an abattoir on the banks of the river became another source of pollution to the river. Now, the river’s resources have declined.
“The people used to drink from this river around the 1970s but since they began to slaughter cows, defecate and urinate in the river with butchers emptying cow dungs and blood into the river, the people stopped drinking from it. Again, The Nigerian Breweries Plc, 7up Bottling Company Plc, and the International Glass Industry – all channel their chemical wastes into the river,” Amanze Evuka, a 60-year-old commercial tricyclist said.
Forty-nine-year-old Chima Fijo and fifty-one-year-old Ogbo Okoro-Agwu do their carwash businesses on the Enyimba Hotels part of the river bank. They corroborated Mr Evuka’s claim.
“I used to know waterside as a clean place, but these cow people have already destroyed the waterside,” says said Mr Fijo. “It’s those people killing cows here that are responsible for the bad state of this river,” added Mr Okoro-Agwu