THE governor of Anambra state, Chukwuma Soludo, has revealed that his administration has introduced a bill for a law to ban sand mining near erosion-prone areas.
He pointed out that poor environmental management is one of Anambra’s significant challenges which must be tackled.
Soludo stated this yesterday at a town hall meeting on erosion control and management which took place at Oko civic centre in Anambra.
The meeting had stakeholders from five communities affected majorly affected by erosion.
Soludo noted that pending the full adoption of the law, he would be signing an Executive Order prohibiting sand mining near erosion-prone areas.
Soludo also requested that communities join the state government in preventive erosion measures.
According to him, poor attitude towards the environment on the part of residents was a major factor in ecological problems in the state.
He added that most residents expect the government to do everything instead of contributing their quota.
“The environment is Anambra’s most serious existential threat. The fifth finger of my administration’s manifesto is based on the environment, towards green, clean, planned markets, communities, and cities to make our environment sustainable,” the governor said.
“As an individual, what have you done today and tomorrow to combat the erosion threat?” he said.
He said gully erosion which largely contributed to the flooding experienced in 2022, occurs in 146 Anambra communities.
He also noted that the current rate of erosion in the state is 81.5 per cent and that it should be reduced to at least 80 per cent.
“Active gully erosion is occurring in 146 Anambra communities which constitutes 81.5 per cent. The five communities assembled here today are at the epicentre of gully erosion. If we do enough of what we are meant to do, the erosion rate will be reduced to 80 per cent.”
The governor called for resident sensitization, a ban on sand mining, and the construction of conventional water channels, stressing that there are active steps that may be implemented to achieve the decrease.
“An action plan on sand mining law, regulation, and enforcement, community sensitisation, revenue collection, a statewide awareness campaign, designing roads for proper water channelisation and building catchment pits, among other things, shall be established.
“We already have a draft environmental law that will help to punish offenders.
“Anambra is heavily impacted by two natural disasters: flooding and gully erosion, controlling flooding alone will consume over N900 billion, which is Anambra’s total budget for many years.
“There would be marching funds for the five communities that will provide designated places where the government can begin tree planting to combat erosion,” he added.
Meanwhile, Anambra was among the states that were heavily flooded in 2022. About 300 communities in six local government areas in the state were submerged in water.
While flooding is frequent in the state, the 2022 flooding is the highest since 2012.