Owners of burrow pits, haulage operators, tipper drivers and other stakeholders in the sand mining sector have commended the Edo State Government led by Governor Godwin Obaseki for re-opening certified burrow pits across the state.
The decision to re-open certified burrow pits across the state was announced by the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Alonge Oni-Okpaku.
A cross-section of owners of burrow pits and other stakeholders who spoke to journalists at the weekend, hailed the state’s decision to re-open only certified burrow pits across the state, a step they said, will restore sanity to their business.
Mr. Ernest Omorodion, who owns a burrow pit in Ovia North East Local Government Area, said, “I must commend the decision of the state government to re-open only certified burrow pits. It is a smart initiative which will ensure only designated areas are mined for sand. It will restore sanity in the business and drive out the bad eggs, who have soiled the business.”
Omorodion said, “Before the ban was placed on burrow pits in the state, those of us who are genuinely into the business had expressed concerned about the indiscriminate burrowing of pits in the state by illegal operators who are driven by profits without regard for the environment.
“I urge government and the relevant authorities to ensure strict monitoring and compliance.”
Johnson Omeiza, a haulage operator, described the re-opening of certified burrow pits as “a timely intervention.”
He said, “Considering the manner in which mining activity at the pits was carried out before the ban was placed, there was no way the actions of illegal operators would not have led to environmental disaster. Some of these areas are prone to erosion. If the trend had continued, communities would have been wiped off.
“With this step, we are reassured that government’s regulations will control how some operators carry out their activities. We expect them to pay regular visits to the sites to ensure best practice.”
In a statement signed by Oni-Okpaku, the state government said that burrow pits that have been duly evaluated have been reopened and urged operators who are yet to collect their clearance to report to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability for the document.
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