Waterways Authority Neglects Warri River As Logs, Water Hyacinth Block Smooth Passage Of Boats-Rita Lori


….Says Pessu market abattoir an eyesore



By Emma Arubi


The Igba of Warri kingdom and Itsekiri women leader, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor has expressed gross displeasure over alleged neglect of the Warri River even as she described the Pessu market abattoir as an eyesore.

The maverick social crusader and right activist made these remarks after a tour of the Pessu market and river front and expressed shock over the degree of neglect of the river, unsanitary condition of the abattoir and unbridled dumping of logs and sawdust right into the river by Saw millers.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of her tour and visit to the management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Chairman of the Warri South Council Chief Lori-Ogbebor
called on the Federal Government to dredge the Warri/Escravos River saying that the River had caused a lot of economic lost to the people of Warri.

She said the Pesu River connecting DSC, Aladja, NPA Warri and leading to Escravos and other Riverine areas has been blocked as a result of the activities of sawmillers who have continued to deposit their waste materials inside the river.

According to her, if nothing urgent is done about the river, there is going to be an environmental disaster in the area and called on relevant authorities to as a matter of urgency relocate the sawmillers from the riverside area and dredge the river so that economic activities will resume in the area.

“Something urgent must be done here because what I am seeing here is disaster waiting to happen. When the Warri women cried to me about the river I did not know that it was this bad.

“These women are mother’s who trade in this market but because of the blockade of the river they find it difficult to transport their wares from from the market to other places. If there is no buying and selling in this market, it is the economy that will suffer,” she said.

At the Pesu market with a berthing jetty where the women are trading she lamented the poor condition of the market, especially the abattoir saying
the abattoir was an eyesore and that it was not fit for people to work adding that she will ensure that those in charge of the market do something urgent about the abattoir.

At the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the business guru and major hotelier in Lagos and Abuja expressed displeasure over the way and manner NIWA neglected the Warri River
to the Area Manager of NIWA, Warri, Engr Rufus Oladimeji and berated NIWA for allowing the Warri River to deteriorate to the level it is now, stressing that it was their duty to ensure that the waterways are fit for water transportation all the time.

Responding, Engr Oladimeji told Lori-Ogbebor that he will take her complain to the relevant authorities and assured her that something would be done about the river as soon as possible.

The Warri Chief who also visited the Warri South Council Chairman, Dr Michael Tidi, expressing her displeasure over the condition of the Warri River and Pesu market.

Responding to her complaints, the council chairman told her that the since his assumption into office, his administration has done a lot to ensure that that market functions optimally.

Tidi said with the meagre allocation coming to the council his administration has been able to manage the funds at it’s disposal to the benefit of council area, adding that in no distance time the issues concerning the market will be resolved.

She rounded up her working tour with a visit to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Delta State Ministry of Environmental in Warri, where she also registered her bitterness/complaints about the neglect of the Warri River and the market and charge the leadership to take urgent steps to effects the desired changes before matters get out of hand.

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