Against the backdrop of predictions of more torrential rains and floods in some states including Delta State, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has directed that Saturday this week should be observed as environmental day in Sapele head quarters of Sapele Local Government Area.
Also, the governor has ordered the immediate stoppage of illegal dredging of the River Ethiope at the site of the Sapele Bridge, at Okirigwe.Governor Emmanuel gave the directive while inspecting the ongoing clearing of natural water channels and drainage in Sapele. The Governor said that during the special sanitation exercise emphasis will be on the clearing of drains. Governor Uduaghan, who said it was criminal for any government official to give approval for the building of structures on the natural water channels, further ordered that owners of illegal structures obstructing water channels will bear the cost of demolition.
He told the commissioner for Environment, Mr. Frank Omare, who took him round Sapele Metropolis, to ensure strict compliance in addition to the presence of mobile courts to prosecute offenders.
At the Diamond Beach along River Ethiope, site of the illegal dredging, the governor ordered that dredging be stopped immediately as the exercise was affecting the one kilometer 47 years old bridge linking Okirigwe and Mosogar Towns.
Governor Uduaghan who also ordered the arrest and prosecution of one Sunday Ogba, the alleged master mind of the illegal dredging , noted that the removal of sand was causing environmental degradation and could lead to the collapse of the old Ethiope river bridge which was built in 1965. Fielding questions from journalists, Governor Uduaghan expressed satisfaction at the ongoing clearing exercise, led by the environment Commissioner , to rid Sapele off flood and filth.