Akwa Ibom bans indiscriminate sand excavation



The Akwa Ibom State Government has banned indiscriminate sand dredging and gravel mining activities at Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) flood control site in the state.

This was stated in a statement issued by Charles Udoh, the state commissioner for environment and petroleum resource.

This act, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), contravenes global sustainable environmental practices which could hinder the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, each adopted in 2015.

The major roads linking these areas are inaccessible by small cars, except heavy-duty trucks because of the bad state they had metamorphosed into. For motorcycles, it’s a no-go area.

Residents in at least four villages in Ibagwa and Abak Usong Atai communities  said the degradation has made them ‘seasonal migrants’ as their lands are often flooded and their farmland devastated.

Meanwhile, experts say unregulated sand mining activities violate sustainable global environmental practices, which could trigger climate change effects such as flooding, the release of carbon monoxide due to heavy-duty trucks’ movement and loss of aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity due to continuous human interference.

However, sand mining activities along the shoreline and in coastal regions are a major cause of erosion and deforestation in Nigeria’s riverine southern region, experts say.

Many youth in the oil-rich state find solace in sharp sand excavation from surrounding rivers and streams in order to earn a living, but little consideration is given to its environmental implications.

The demand for sand is driven by its use for construction.

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