Citing threat to the integrity of the environment, danger of flash floods and the need to avoid health hazards, the Edo State Government has shut down with immediate effect burrow pits in the state.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Alonge Oni-Okpaku Esq., the state government said that all burrow pits in the state are shut with effect from August 2, noting that the move is necessary not to predispose the state to environmental hazards.
According to the statement, “The Ministry of Environment and Sustainability wishes to announce, for the information of the general public and in particular, the owners and operators of burrow pits, haulage operators, tipper drivers and other stakeholders, that all operations of burrow pits are shut down with effect from Thursday 2nd August, 2018.”
She said the directive is to enable the state government “re-evaluate and re-certify the sites to ensure that they do not constitute hazards and environmental degradation.
“Towards this end, all such owners and operators are required to report to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability for re-certification and subsequent inspection of their sites. For the avoidance of doubts, the following documents will be required for the exercise: operating licence issued by the Federal Ministry of Mines, Steel and Solid Minerals; Evidence of Environment Impact Assessment carried out on the sites; Evidence of remediation levies and Health, Safety and Environmental Plans.”
She reiterated that any operation of a burrow pit without the appropriate approval is a criminal offence that is punishable by law.