The 2021 Osun festival billed for August would go on as scheduled despite the pollution of the Osun River, caused by gold mining activities in the Ijesa axis of the state.
This was made known by Adetoyi Michael Adeyinka, House Committee Chairman on Culture and Tourism in the state, during an unscheduled visit to the Osun Grove by the Committees on Environment, Sanitation, Culture and Tourism of the state.
Adeyinka said “the ongoing mining activities will in no way affect the traditional heritage of Osun and it will not also affect the annual Osun festival.
“I am certain that before the festival kicks off, we will be witnessing tremendous improvements and the environment will have been taken care of.”
Adeyinka explained that both committees were working together to ensure everything is in good shape before the latter part of the year.
While revealing that the Osun River is a means of attraction for both foreign and local tourists, he maintained that gold mining activities have grossly polluted the waterway and there was a need for legislation to urgently ensure that the government’s intention with regards to tourism will not be truncated.
“Osun State House of Assembly has been informed and that is the reason for this oversight visit to see things for ourselves so that we will know which direction to come from in the proposed legislation.
“I am sure with this, there will be controls in such a manner that the objectives of government and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will be achieved.”
Corroborating, the Chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Sanitation, Gbenga Ogundipe said since it has been established that the pollution and colour change observed in the river is directly linked to mining activities, more action would be put into the process of coming up with legislation.
He explained that the Environment and Sanitation Commissioner has assured them that steps have already been taken and within a short time, positive results would be observed.
The lawmaker representing Osogbo State Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly, Taofeek Badamosi also said the Ataoja of Osogbo land has expressed worries over the increasing pollution of the River and has mandated him to liaise with both House Committees.
Badamosi who revealed that inhabitants of the state capital have also been clamouring for ways to solve the problem noted that he has been assured that something will be done to resolve the river pollution before August.
DAILY POST had reported on Sunday 7th of March, 202 , about the ‘human activities drying up the Osun River’ and on Thursday 1st April, 2021 alerted that residents raised alarm after the River changed colour.
A hashtag trending on Twitter, #Osunriverpollution earlier in the week after series of news reports by DAILY POST and other media outlets had made the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly to mandate its committees on Environment and Sanitation and Culture and Tourism to swing into action.