Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Operators of deep canoes and speed boats have commended the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) for ensuring free flow of transportation and other movements in rivers within the state by clearing the waterways of aquatic weeds.
DESOPADEC had deployed aquatic weed harvesters to clear the unwanted plants which had hampered free flow of transportation and other movements in the waterways.
The boat operators which also included fishermen, traders and residents of riverine communities, said the initiative of DESOPADEC have drastically reduced the growth of aquatic weeds in the Warri river and its environment.
A boat owner, Mr. Tony Mafolabomi, said “the introduction of this equipment by DESOPADEC is a noble one.
“It had helped opened the waterways to enable us gain access to the creeks and outlets along the Warri rivers. Our canoes and boats now sail better as aquatic weeds that used to impede the free flow of water are being cleared regularly.”
He however added that the “equipment is very insufficient. Only this Pessu market area requires about five aquatic heed harvesters but presently only two are covering the whole Warri River.
“My appeal is more of the equipments so as to be deployed to other riverine areas of the state as water hyacinths had taken over most of the rivers.”
Chairman of Pessu Market Association, Mr. Tosan Mamah, who also spoke in the vein, stressed that “most of the oil producing areas are not beneficiaries of this laudable project which has increased socio-economic activities in communities along Warri riverine.
“Water weeds have completely blocked some creeks in the state, and the development had hindered economic activities in those areas.
“The state needs more fleets and different sizes of aquatic weed harvesters to curtail menace of water hyacinth, including those that can manoeuvre in smaller creeks were there are aquatic weeds. We expect more government intervention in that regards.”
Another boat owner, Mr. Daniel Chobor, appealed to the state government not to under estimate the importance of the need to curb aquatic weeds in rivers and creeks of the state, stressing that “in most cases poor understandings of an issue that is so dear to the people, even emanates from both government officials and some members of the public who are not directly affected.
“State water ways should be free from aquatic weeds and all its challenges to movement in the creeks of Delta to the benefit of the people. It is our desire and we pray for more actions.”
Some commuters who spoke also stressed the importance of the government greater intervention towards checking the problem of aquatic weeds in the water ways.