The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has warned those who engaged in illegal dredging in Delta state to desist from the illicit act.
Mr Shaba Afeso, the Warri Area Manager of NIWA gave the warning on Friday in an interview with Journalists in Warri.
Afeso said that the authority would no longer condone such illegality, noting that the action was capable of causing environmental hazards in the state.
“We are sitting on a keg of gun powder in the state, if this illegal dredging is not addressed,” he said.
The area manager said that NIWA is working out modalities to phase out what he described as “small keke dredgers” which the people used to perpetrate the illegalities.
“I want to use this medium to send a strong warning to all the illegal dredgers in Delta to desist from carrying out illegal dredging in the state.
“Illegal dredging is becoming an all comer’s affairs where people raised N1.5 million and ventured into the trade without due process.
“They buy small keke dredgers and moved to the backyard of any house where there is water and starts dredging without seeking approval from the authority.
“We are working on how to phase out Keke dredgers in the society completely because they are causing a lot of problem to the environment.
“They cannot carry big dredgers into the small rivers. This action is not vindictive, it is aimed at putting things straight to the benefit of our future and the environment,” he said.
Afeso, however, said that the authority would soon organised an enlightenment programme to educate the perpetrators on the dangers of what they are doing to the environment.