Flooding: Gov Sylva orders firm implementation of environmental laws

Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa-Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State has directed the Ministry of Environment to be firm in the bid to implement policies initiated by his administration on enforcement of environmental laws and opening of city drains to minimise the destructive effect of the flooding in the state.
He specifically ordered that such enforcement should be done with human face.

The directive, according to the State Ministry of Environment, is expected to lead to the demolition of some high profile buildings built against the Capital City plan and the clearing of drainages in the state capital.

The Commission for Environment, Chief Robert Enogha in an interview in said though the implementation of the governor’s directive is ongoing with clearing of drainages, the demolition plan of low and high profile building will be done with a strong political will and planned enlightenment campaign.

Chief Robert Enogha explained that after an unofficial meeting with agencies and parastatals under the supervision of the ministry, there were renewed zeal by the workers of the ministry to implement the new approach to development and effective enforcement of environmental laws in the state.

He said, “The new approach is the enforcement of laws with a friendly but firm resolve.”

“We, as a government, are committed to the opening of blocked drainages and the removal of man-made problems of flood. It will be a terrible thing for some persons to build on drainages and we do nothing. No matter high the profile of marked buildings are, we will demolish it. It is a process that will not be stopped. If there were wrongs done before, this administration will make it right.”

Chief Robert Enogha, who was the immediate past House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Information, Communication and Strategy, said as a commissioner with thirteen years residence in the state, he would lead the Environment Ministry with a deep knowledge of the environmental needs of the state.

“The onus is on us to perform. I have been given full responsibility and I have accepted and swear to work,” he declared.

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