The operators had raised concerns over the activities of some individuals and groups, who operated borrow pits without regard for environmental concerns.
One of the leading owners of borrow pits in the state, who pleaded anonymity over security concerns, said before the announcement by the state government, “legitimate operators of borrow pits had complained over activities of some persons and groups who had continued with the business without recourse to the environment and whose licences had expired.”
“These persons and groups are not known to us. If they had been allowed to continue, they would put our business in jeopardy. What they do is to burrow pits indiscriminately, without following the due process. The government announcement was a huge relief to us,” he said.
According to him, “The plan by the state government to re-evaluate and re-certify the sites would restore sanity in the sector, in a way which would not create problems for the environment.”
“By the time the recertification and inspection of the sites are completed, I believe only genuine operators who abide by the rules, would continue.”
An operator who identified himself as Efe Osarodion said, “before the announcement by the government, all manners of persons have infiltrated into our operations. What these persons do, is to burrow pits on sites owned by a genuine owner.
Recall that the Edo State Government shut down with immediate effect burrow pits in the state citing threat to the state’s environmental integrity, danger of flash floods and the need to avoid health and environmental hazards.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Alonge Oni-Okpaku Esq., “The Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, believes the shutting down of burrow pits would allow for “reevaluation and recertification of the sites to ensure that they do not constitute hazards and environmental degradation as all such owners and operators are required to report to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainability for recertification and subsequent inspection of their sites.”