Akwa Ibom blames flooding, erosion on neglect of drainage master plan
Akwa Ibom State government has attributed perennial flooding and erosion in Uyo, and its environs to successive governments’ failure to follow the drainage Master Plan for the state capital.
Commissioner for Environment, Charles Udoh, who fielding questions from journalists in Uyo, yesterday, said most of the erosion and flood prone areas in the metropolis were induced by activities of residents since were building houses on water channels.
“Unfortunately, the Uyo drainage master plan was not followed in the past, so we are building an 8.4km drains that will take water from the Atiku Abubakar Way to the Secretariat roundabout, linking up to the Women Development Centre along IBB Way to Atan Offot and the PDP secretariat.
“Because of the volume of water in the areas, the drainage will carry 50,000 litres of water per second. That is what we are doing in the IBB Flood Project. We also sought emergency intervention around Etim Umanah and Anua, which is being expected by August.
Udoh explained that the ministry had received several compliments about noise pollution, stressing that as the ministry continues in its sensitisation and awareness campaign, it would begin to prosecute offenders.
On mining business, he confirmed that it was on the exclusive list, but warned that, those who have genuine licences to operate must liaise with the ministry on how to carry out their operations.
“Mining is in the exclusive list. Illegal sand and gravel mining are dangerous to our environment. When it comes to mining, we are saying that if people are dredging a river, they can’t go lower than 150 meters close from the bank of the river to avoid triggering erosion. And on land, they must not dredge lower than 500meters from critical infrastructure.
“Sadly, today a case in point is between Eket and Onna where someone was arrested for dredging under the bridge. A bridge can collapse and the environment devastated because of dredging. We want to ensure that people following the Law while engaging in the activities,” he stated.
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