Environment Commissioner Commences Tour Of Erosion Sites In A’Ibom
By Paulinus Nnah
The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson, has Thursday, July 18, 2019 embarked on assessment tour of erosion and flood ravished sites in Akwa Ibom State.
The Hon. Commissioner who has just assumed office last Monday, and who carried out the exercise in company of top officials of his ministry and those of Nigerpet stated that it was pertinent for him to have an on-the-spot assessment of areas most affected by erosion and flood disaster in the state.
Addressing newsmen during the exercise, Ekong Sampson said “Now that I have just assumed office, I felt that I should have a firsthand knowledge about the state of affairs about our environment.
“What the public should expect is government intervention. We have a governor who is very passionate about the environment, and very passionate about the wellbeing of his people. That is why I am here to see things for myself, even under a heavy downpour like this.
“To me, it is better to inspect erosion and flood sites under the rain, so that I can see how the situation is really like. So, even under the rain I am here with my team and the officials of Nigerpet, the company that has been working on a number of locations affected by gully erosion.”
The Environment Commissioner who reiterated the state government’s concern about the high level erosion disaster in the state, especially in the areas visited during the tour, hinted that the state governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, has directed that remedial measures be put in place as soon as possible.
He therefore appealed to the federal government for immediate intervention, as, according to him, “Akwa Ibom State is under threat”, saying it should see the erosion and flood situations in Akwa Ibom State as very peculiar and pressing, as the environment is under pressure.
On the preventive measures of government, Barr. Sampson noted that government is sensitizing the people on the need to take the issues of erosion and flood very seriously, even when undertaking their construction work, saying that “total compliance with the basic construction standards has to be respected.”
Regarding the corrective measures on those whose breach of construction measures has fueled the flood crisis in the state, he responded that government advocacy has been on the increase that all members of the public should take the issue of protecting the environment very seriously, saying that the issue should not be left to government alone.
Also speaking during the inspection, the Managing Director of Nigerpet, Mr. Muyeed Wadud, posited that his establishment has been working closely with the state government to bring the situation under control.
The areas toured during the exercise are: Uyo Prisons, Udo Inwang Street ravine, Ubara Street in Use Offot and Etim Okon Usanga Street ravine, all in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.