By Peter Nwasike 

The persistent excavation of laterite, stone and sand, in various places, have ignited the concern of lawmakers in Anambra State, at their plenary session, at Awka. In a motion of “URGENT PUBLIC IMPRTANCE”, Hon. Chief Lawrence Ezeudu, (APGA, Dunukofia), raised alarm of the devastating effect of the illegal excavations, and the environmental degradation it caused. He was seconded by Hon. Barr. Chukwuka Ezenwunne (APGA, Idemili South).

Expatiating on the motion, Hon. Ezeudu, intimated that during their “OVERSIGHT FUNCTION”, at various erosion sites, in the State, they visited the defunct, Airport Site at Oba, in Idemili South LGA, and discovered that many unauthorized persons had trespassed into the place, and engaged in indiscriminate minning of soil, stone, sharp sand, for their illegal commercial purposes. He said that when they came, they discovered a signpost, mounted by the Ministry of Environment, with the inscription:”STOP EXCAVATION OF SOIL”, but inspite of this warning, people continued to indulge in the illegal practices. He said that the gully they created were so deep that it could swallow two-stories building. He said that the nearby places, have been witnessing large cracks of gully, and if not checked, they could aggravate into large scale erosion proportion. He called on the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to use an Executive Order, and stop the illegal excavation of laterite, stone and sharp sand, in the area, and other places, immediately.
In his contribution, Hon. Barr. Chukwuka Ezenwunne, whose area the environmental degradation is being aggravated, said that the place was a site acquired by the Government of Old Anambra State, for Airport project, but was not executed, by the Military Government in 1985. But when the civilian Government, came, they evaluated it as unsuitable for Airport, due to proximity of bad torpography that precipitate erosion. But unfortunately some land speculators encroached into it, and began to sell land for building and for sand excavation for business. He called for such illegal business transactions to stop, as it is detrimental to the welfare of people.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Uchenna Okafor, frowned at such illegal business enterprises, and asserted that the House was “urging the Governor, Chief Obiano, to issue an Executive Order, prohibiting the unauthorized excavation of laterite, stones and sharp sand at the defunct Airport Site, and prosecute the defaulters, henceforth.



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