December 30, 2019

Anambra govt bans sand excavation over negative effect on community

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By Chimaobi Nwaiwu – Nnewi

Following alleged sand excavation activities that threaten the Oba community, which they have severally complained to both federal and state governments, the Anambra State Government has ordered the closure of excavation of sand at Oyitraco Excavation Site along Old Oba Airport site, Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area Anambra State.

The closure of the excavation site was contained in a letter by Dr C.E.N Okafor, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment, on behalf of the Commissioner for Environment, Anambra State, to the Proprietor, Oyitraco Excavation Site, Old Oba Airport Oba, titled “Closure of your Excavation site/Burrow pit” date 19th December 2019.

The letter was also copied to the President General Oba Patriotic Union, OPU, Regent of Oba, Prince Noel Ezenwa, the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Oba Police Station and the Area Commander Ogidi Area Command.

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The letter read: “The State government has observed the negative effect of your activities in the form of excavation at Oyitraco Excavation Site along Old Oba Airport Oba in Idemili South, Local Government Area.

“This your action that has no authority from the State Government is badly affecting the area and if not stopped immediately is likely to escalate to an unimaginable point and it is hereby closed down immediately.

Against this backdrop, you are advised to clear of the area including your agents/privy and stop further excavation thereto.

“A deviation from this will be viewed seriously as absolute neglect and the State Government may take other actions deemed necessary on protecting the lives and properties of its citizenry.”

However, Oba community has raised the alarm that in spite of the directive for the closure of the site, Oyitraco is still carrying out sand excavation activities at the site.

The community, has, through it’s Regent, written to the Federal Ministry of Environment complaining about the threat the activities of Oyitraco sand excavation is causing the community.

In a letter to the Minister of Environment for State, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor signed on behalf of the community by the Regent of Oba community, Chief Noel Ezenwa, they said that if the excavation of sand continues in the area, it is capable of causing erosion that could wash off the entire Oba.

However, contacted, proprietor of Oyitraco Excavation Site, Mr Osita Agina, said the land belongs to him and he has no disagreement with anybody over it, adding that he is only levelling the land so he can use it.