Akwa Ibom State Government has banned dredging and sand mining activities along Marina/Qua River axis and it’s environs with immediate effect.
The Commissioner for Environment, Sir. Charles Udoh gave the directive after an on the spot inspection of dredging sites along Marina/Qua River in Eket and meeting with the leadership of the sand dredgers Association in the State.
He said the State Government’s directive was to arrest extreme environmental degradation that sand dredging activities has caused in the area. He noted that critical infrastructure along that corridor have been destroyed or threatened. He lamented that even the foot of Eket/Onna Link bridge has been compromised by the dredgers.
Earlier while interacting with Newsmen , Sir. Udoh noted that the activities of the dredgers is at variance with the vision of the state government’s drive for a environmental sustainability and acceptable environmental standards .
Henceforth, the Commissioner said, the Ministry of Environment will insist on maintaining proper environmental standards by the operators adding that the increasing wave of illegal activities of sand dredgers must be checked to save our environment. He also confirmed that the State Government is in discussion with the Sand Dredgers Association and other Professionals / Stakeholders to agree on acceptable environmental modalities for their operations
“These activities destroy our ecosystem and open the state to an up surge of environmental hazards. To this end, individuals and organisations must register with the Ministry of Environment for proper monitoring and guidance on authorize dredging locations. The intentions of Akwa Ibom state government is not to stop dredging and mining business in the state; in it’s entirety but to regulate the sector and ensure practitioners operate within the dictates of the law,” Sir. Udoh concluded.
According to the Hon. commissioner, Violators of this directive will be arrested and prosecuted.
Ministry of Environment
February 4, 2021