Bayelsa State Government has called on all relevant agencies and development partners to complement each others’ efforts to tackle erosion and other ecological problems facing the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrujakpor made the call during a courtesy visit from the Paramount Ruler of Obogoro Community, Chief Theophilus Igodo, accompanied by chiefs and other community stakeholders.
The Deputy Governor noted that Bayelsa is a coastal state which is located below sea level and almost all communities suffer the devastating effects of erosion by losing scarce lands and properties to erosion every year.
He described the situation in Obogoro and other communities as pathetic and urged the Federal Government to deploy a fair share of the ecological fund to provide shoreline protection in the state, as it is beyond the state government to bear the responsibility alone.
He, however, said the state government in fulfillment of its promise, has already awarded a contract for the canalization project in Obogoro as part of efforts to mitigate the effects of erosion in the community.
Senator Ewhrujakpor appealed for patience on the part of the people, noting that the contractor will be mobilized to site as soon as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is concluded.
He, also urged the people of the state not to allow dredging in their communities without reports of feasibility studies and EIAs, stressing that the worsening environmental challenges in Obogoro was being caused by indiscriminate sand mining along the Ikolo river.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri, attributed the erosion in Obogoro to sand mining, adding that he had earlier stopped dredging activities in the area.
On his part, the Spokesman of the Obogoro Community, Mr. Francis Igodo expressed gratitude to the state government for constructing access roads and a new school building to replace the St. John’s Primary School that was eroded.
He pleaded with the government to tackle the erosion challenges in the community which he described as the greatest threat to the peace and survival of the residents.