By Samuel Udoma
Senator Ekong Sampson representing Akwa Ibom South in the Senate has raised alarm over threats to livelihood caused by flooding and erosion in parts of Akwa Ibom State. Senator Sampson described this as “rage of the elements.”
Senator Sampson raised the concerns yesterday at the Senate plenary when he spoke on the menace of erosion, flooding and other environmental hazards, occasioned by the rainy season and global climatic changes.
It followed discussions on a motion sponsored by Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe (Adamawa South) and supported by a number of Senators, titled “Urgent Need to Address the Recurring Issue of Flood-Induced Damages Caused by the Willful Release of Water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroun.”
Senator Yaroe had called attention to the perennial case of the Lagdo Dam which overflows into parts of Adamawa and other states in the North East, causing great damage to settlements.
Taking the floor, Senator Ekong Sampson raised alarm that Akwa Ibom was also facing serious problems in flooding and erosion.
He said that he was familiar with natural disaster problems, having served as Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources in Akwa Ibom State. At that time, he initiated a programme he tagged The Health of the Earth.”
Senator Sampson called on the Federal Government and stakeholders to pay greater attention to issues concerning the environment, arguing that works which invariably, attract greater Government attention depend on the environment to succeed.
Senator Sampson stated that it was time for everyone to take environmental issues seriously. He said proper care of the environment can avert natural disasters, such as flooding and erosion.
Sampson, who is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, called for a concerted effort from the government and relevant agencies to help stem the tide of incessant flooding in the country.
Sampson has been consistent with calls to safeguard the environment. Recall that in August, Senator Sampson had put forward a motion in the Senate, calling for urgent intervention through an ecological fund, for drainage and erosion control measures in Akwa Ibom State.
It should be noted that Akwa Ibom State is largely coastal and witnesses over 294 days of rainfall yearly. Such heavy rainfall, coupled with the location of the State exposes it to environmental hazards.