• info@ijawnation.org
  • Ekise No. 2 Quarters, Patani, Delta State, Nigeria.
 Sawdust, water hyacinth block Warri River, Lori-Ogbebor urges FG, Delta to act

Sawdust, water hyacinth block Warri River, Lori-Ogbebor urges FG, Delta to act

Firebrand Itsekiri opinion leader Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori-Ogbebor has implored the Federal and Delta State Governments to ensure relevant government agencies that collect revenue from businesses around Pessu community waterways take action about the nuisance being constituted by sawmillers at the Pessu market waterways.

Lori-Ogbebor made the call weekend after she conducted journalists around the Pessu community waterways which have been cut off from other communities in Warri South due to nefarious activities of sawmillers who heaped sawdust on the water channel.

The Igba of Warri Kingdom accused the authorities of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for only showing concern about the revenue collected from businesses around the Pessu waterways without tackling the ugly activities of sawmillers.

Chief Lori-Ogbebor who stormed the Warri office of NIWA with a group of women, expressed displeasure that NIWA had over the years failed in its responsibility to tackle the menace of the heap of sawdust deposited on the Warri river by sawmillers.

She said that it was the duty of NIWA which has been collecting revenue from businesses around the waterways to ensure the waterways are fit for water transportation, lamenting that the whole stretch of the river from the Pessu community to Escravos has been blocked thus causing huge economic loss to the people of Warri.

Responding, the Area Manager of NIWA, Warri, Engr Rufus Oladimeji who was infuriated over the unscheduled visit, nonetheless, said that NIWA would put machinery in place to tackle the complaint raised by the respected Warri social crusader.

Chief Lori-Ogbebor who also met with the Chairman of the Warri South Council, Dr Michael Tidi, to register her displeasure for the ‘eyesore in the Pessu market’s abattoir’, also called on the Federal Government to dredge the Warri/Escravos River which have been taken over by water hyacinth and heap of sawdust.

She expressed concern over the degree of neglect of the river, unsanitary condition of the abattoir and unbridled dumping of logs and sawdust right into the river by sawmillers and urged the council to take her message to relevant government agencies.

She said the Pessu River which connects DSC, Aladja, NPA Warri and leads to Escravos and other Riverine areas, has been blocked and cut off from other communities as a result of the activities of sawmillers who have continued to deposit their waste materials inside the river.

According to her, if nothing urgent is done about the river, there is going to be an environmental disaster in the area and called on relevant authorities to urgently relocate the sawmillers from the riverside and dredge the river so that economic activities will resume in the area.

‘Something urgent must be done here because what I am seeing here is a disaster waiting to happen. When the Warri women cried to me about the river I did not know that it was this bad.

‘These women are mothers who trade in this market but because of the blockade of the river, they find it difficult to transport their wares from the market to other places. If there is no buying and selling in this market, it is the economy that will suffer,’ she said.

Chief Lori-Ogbebor, who was also at the Pessu market with a berthing jetty where the women were supposed to land with their goods and wares, said that the jetty is no longer functioning apparently because the entire river is blocked with sawdust and water hyacinth, she lamented.

She lamented the poor condition of the market, especially the abattoir saying the abattoir was an eyesore and that it was not fit for people to work adding that she will ensure that those in charge of the market do something urgent about the abattoir.

In his response, the Warri South Council Chairman, Dr Michael Tidi, thanked the Warri Chief for the tour of the river and market, saying that since his assumption into office, his administration has done a lot to ensure that the market functions optimally.

Tidi said that with the meagre allocation coming to the council his administration has been able to manage the funds at its disposal to the benefit of the council area, adding that in no distance time the issues concerning the market will be resolved.

Chief Lori-Ogbebor rounded up her tour with a visit to the Federal Ministry of Environment and Delta State Ministry of Environment where she also met one Mrs Patience Owivri and urged the duo to take action before the situation become a major disaster in Warri. (Source: Sunday Sun).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *