The Akwa Ibom State Government has appealed to the Federal Government and donor agencies to raise funds in support of the fight against the menace of erosion in the state.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Sir. Charles Udoh made this call on Monday, September 14, in Uyo, when he paid an unscheduled visit to some gully erosion sites.
The Commissioner who conveyed the assurances of the Government in ensuring a lasting solution to the erosion menace at Asutan Street, Uyo Village Road and surrounding communities in the state capital, advised individuals in erosion-prone spots to relocate immediately for the safety of their lives and properties, while government seeks ways to ameliorate their sufferings.
Sir Udoh noted that most of the erosion related problems in the state are caused by human activities which include dredging of sand, digging of burrowed pits by construction companies, dumping of refuse and sachets in the gutters and erection of buildings on the water ways.
He cited the case of wasted Government’s resources at the Etim Umana gully erosion site due to the building and farming activities carried out by people on its slop, adding further that such illegal structures will be demolished.
He also announced his Ministry’s readiness to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in all government projects to save lives and properties in the state
The gully erosion sites visited by the Commissioner who was accompanied by Director of flood in the Ministry, Mr. Okon Effiong, were: Asutan street, Ikpa Road and Uyo village Road by Ibom Blue science and technology park project site.
In their responses, a citizen of the area, Hon. Idongesit Henry thanked the Commissioner for the prompt visit to the erosion site and pledged the community’s readiness to cooperate with the Government salvage the challenge.
Another citizen of the area, Mr. Austin Itong said the problem of the area was not a result of human activities but due to the of the run-off channeled by construction companies handling roads in the area, and that lots of buildings in the area have approval from the state government.
He appealed to government for palliatives to the residents to cushion the effects of their challenges.