By Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH— COMMUNITY Development Advocacy Foundation, CODAF, has urged the Federal and state governments in the Niger Delta to step up monitoring strategies and enact policies that would tackle illegal sand mining in the region.
CODAF, in a communique at the end of a one-day policy dialogue on Community Action Against Indiscriminate Sand Mining in the Niger Delta, said: “It has been observed that corporations and powerful individuals in the society are engaged in indiscriminate dredging of marine bodies.”
The communiqué by CODAF Executive Director, Mr. Richard Benin, lamented the high rate of environment degradation arising from indiscriminate sand mining, which he said “affects the people’s sources of livelihood and this has resulted to strong resistance and crisis among the people.
“Communities are losing their forests, vegetations and swamps to the activities of sand dredgers. Government’s actions against these activities have yielded little or no results,” he said, stressing the need to “institutionalise common sand dredging procedures and a total review of existing laws.”
It advised communities to “demand government approved licences from intending sand miners and where the sand miners proved to have satisfied the relevant authorities, they can demand for Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, reports.
“Government should make post-EIA mandatory for all miners to come up with a robust management plan to tackle post-dredging environment changes and degradation.”