Faculty: Environmental Sciences
Department: Environmental Management
Irem, C. O.
Okoye, C. O.
Although Rice is the most economically important food crop in many developing and developed countries where its consumption has considerably increased, its milling is characterised with environmetal and socio-economic problems and its location has always been an issue in the world over. This situation made Ebonyi State Government in 2009 to mandate Abakaliki Rice Mill Company Ltd to relocate outside their current location, arguing that the presence of the Mill is causing a lot of environmental pollution and health disorders.This study, therefore, examined the overall environmental and the economic effects of Abakaliki Rice Mill Company Ltd and its health implications on the host community using survey and experimental methods. A total of 396 questionnaires were administered to residents in Amagu Community, while 100 questionnaires were administered to Rice Mill workers. The questionnaire was subdivided into 3 sub-sections namely: the environmental effects, the economic effects and the health implications. The questionnaire on the environmental effects, economic effects and health implications were analyzed using Wilcoxon Ranks Signed Tests, while the data on soil properties were analyzed using Mann Whitney test, However, data on water and air qualities, as well as the retrieved health records were analyzed using Kruskal Wallis Test. The results from the analyses revealed that there were some negative as well as positive effects of the rice mill on Amagu Community. However, it was discovered that the Abakaliki Rice Mill has no significant environmental effect and health implications on Amagu Community and Rice Mill workers (p values < 0.05); rather, it has a significant positive economic effect (p values > 0.05). The study also revealed that the number of people in support of the present location of the Rice Mill was more than those against it. In view of these, the following recommendations were made: cleaner production practices, treatment of waste water before disposal, application of husk for energy generation, tree planting, heat energy to electromechanical energy conversion, and banning of parboiling of paddy in the residential areas, among others. When these are followed, the negative effects will be abated and the potential positive effects will be harnessed into a fortune.