Bayelsa govt denies abandoning Obogoro shoreline protection project
The Bayelsa State Government has said that it has not abandoned the erosion control project in the state’s Obogoro community of the Yenagoa Local Government Area.
Recall that DAILY POST had earlier reported that the people of Obogoro community, where at least six persons died due to the worsening effect of the coastal erosion, stormed the streets of Yenagoa, the state capital, in protest.
The aggrieved residents also issued a 7-day ultimatum to the state government to act urgently to save their community from the looming danger of erosion or face their protest until their demands are met.
But the government, through the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said some reports about the state of work on the project were incorrect and grossly inaccurate.
In a statement, Governor Douye Diri clarified that the project was on course and that the government was committed to finding a lasting solution to the erosion menace.
While empathising with the community over the negative effects of the coastal erosion, including the loss of lives, land, property and sources of livelihood, Governor Diri urged the community to keep faith in the government to rescue the situation.
He said he had visited the community and had also been briefed about the problems, advising that those trying to use the project to fan the embers of discord should desist.
The governor said Obogoro was not the only community affected by erosion and similar environmental menace in the state as his community, Sampou, and others were also affected.
The state’s helmsman said he had just received a detailed report from the state Ministry of Environment on the Obogoro erosion project and had given directives on how to address the menace permanently.
He explained that part of the report showed that the site clearing and part-dredging had been done and that N750 million had been spent on the ongoing project so far.
He further stated that at a meeting between the government and the community, an agreement was reached to suspend the dredging works and that the project be redesigned for shoreline protection.
“Also, the ministry subsequently engaged a technical team, which carried out a survey map of the project site, bathymetric and topography survey and geotechnical studies.
“Obogoro cannot therefore claim to be neglected as this administration has built schools, health centre and roads among other projects in the community as well as appointed a commissioner and other senior officials of the government from that community,” he said.