By G9ija

The Enugu State Government, on Tuesday, restated its vow to deal decisively with all those involved in the destruction of natural heritage sites in the State.

The reporters said that there has been a gradual encroachment on heritage sites in the State, including mountains, by land speculators and developers.

Only recently, the government, through the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, had warned individuals, communities and authorities involved in the ongoing destruction of the Miliken hills’ natural heritage, especially behind the new Enugu State Infectious Disease Hospital, formerly known as Colliery Hospital Enugu and other hills in the State, to desist from such act.

In a follow-up to the warning, the Enugu State Commissioner for information, Hon. Chidi Aroh took journalists to the affected sites, where he warned that the government would not sit by and watch desperate individuals create ecological problems of high magnitude.

Aroh and his team inspected the level of destruction done at the Milliken Hill, Aria Road Hill and Iva Valley Hill, behind Revival City Church.

He said: “This development is such that is going to cause a serious ecological crisis. As they go ahead with this removal of earth, you will see that the water flow is going to cause a lot of danger going down the lower plane and that means the whole of the new market and infectious disease hospital just completed at colliery will be affected.

“These destructions are being done by ourselves, we are creating these environmental disasters. I am sure you have seen how the beautiful environment created by nature is being destroyed by individuals.

“The natural heritage that was done years before we were born are being destroyed by land speculators. It’s important the world knows that this is not acceptable to Enugu State, and it is not going to happen because we must defend the State.

“The people staying around the destructive areas are being threatened. It’s important that people stop destroying the natural heritage and allow it to exist as it was created.

“I am sure you can look and see what is happening here; it is a complete deforestation of Miliken hill. You recall that part of the thing why we have the forest reserve in Miliken hill is that it is used as a great check to the topography of the area. We have hills around the area.

“You can see what we have come to face, people are cutting down the trees, hills and constructions are ongoing in those areas. The fact is that we must think about saving the future of the state. If we don’t, we will pay dearly in the future.”

On the way forward, the commissioner said, “The government will take its responsibilities. It is clear and constitutional that our duty is primarily the security and welfare of our people.

“Any ecological disaster will constitute a major threat to the people. The government is not going to sleep. We are dealing with the report that various agencies are bringing to us.”