Ini Billie, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has deprived illegal sand miners of their means of livelihood by ordering an end to mining activities in the state.
Governor Umo Eno ordered the immediate end to indiscriminate sand mining during an on-the-spot inspection of some erosion-ravaged areas in Uyo.
Eno announced the prohibition order on Wednesday in Uyo during an on-the-spot inspection of Udo Inwang by Urua Udofia streets in the Ewet Offot community affected by erosion, and an excavation spot at Clement Isong Avenue.
He mentioned that the prohibition would check the continuous distortion of the state’s natural topography, environmental degradation, and erosion-related menace capable of degenerating into ravines and ecological disasters that could result in the destruction of lives and property.
Consequently, he ordered a stop to the digging of borrow pits and excavation without permission from the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources.
“I have stopped all forms of excavations of any kind in this state; what is called borrow pit, without the express permission of the ministry.
“This is because most of the erosions we are having today result from illegal mining. Let us coordinate those things properly so that if there are drains, we can know where it will be terminated,” he stated.
While interacting with the Village Head of Ewet Offot, Etteidung Ben Bassey John and community members about the devastation of erosion in the area, the governor assured them of the government’s immediate intervention in the problem.
He directed the Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof. Eno Ibanga to carry out an assessment of the erosion menace and come up with relevant paper works for the award of contract to reclaim the erosion site.
He said: “I expect that within the next two weeks, the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Prof. Eno Ibanga, should be able to come up with something. And we pray and trust God that nothing will happen in two weeks. We have to follow the due process to get that job done.”