Ocean Encroachment: Reps Urge FG To Build Protective Shoreline In Bayelsa Communities

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to construct shoreline protection walls against ocean encroachment in communities in Bayelsa.

The lawmakers advised the government to build stone and concrete pavements on the banks of rivers surrounding communities in the state.

The call followed a motion by Rep. Douye Diri at plenary.

Moving the motion, Diri said that most of the communities in Bayelsa were bordered on all fronts by streams, rivers, rivulets and the ocean.

He expressed worry that some communities, including Okpoama, Twon Brass, Sangana, Foropah, Ekeni, Ezetu, Koluama, Odioma, Agbere and Sampou were on the verge of extinction.

According to the lawmaker, this is as a result of ocean encroachment that was eating up the lands, thus threatening the existence of the people.

He explained that ocean encroachment had a similar adverse impact on the people as Sahara Desert was to the northern part of Nigeria.

He said that people in Bayelsa, who were predominantly farmers and fishermen, were being threatened by the ocean and rivers that were washing away their communities.

Diri said that infrastructure such as schools, health centres, roads and residential buildings were at risk of being washed away due to the encroachment.

He expressed fear that if urgent steps were not taken, lives of the people who resided by the shorelines and banks of the rivers and the ocean in the area would be in jeopardy.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.

The house, therefore, urged the Federal Government to dredge the river beds to remove encroaching weeds so that the rivers could contain more water volumes, thereby reduce flooding.