With the first dredger ever on the Ezichi River, this milestone allowed the ongoing Anam City project to take on a new trajectory. This is the first time the Ezichi River has been mechanically dredged; currently local source sand from the river manually using a process that is slow and unsafe. The mobile dredging boat will allow increased flexibility for year-round provision of sand at volumes required for the construction of the city project.
The construction of the Anam dredger was initiated in January 201 to augment the scarcity of sand in the region and, specifically at the Anam City site. Before now, the process of bringing sand to the site has been a very difficult task. This is because the only alternate beach is at Otuocha, where a tipper can purchase sand and deliver by road. Otu-ocha is a town 50-kilometer away from Ebenebe Anam. The newly installed dredger at Ezichi River will make sand available for the New City. Construction of the boat has finally come to completion as the dredger has fully commenced operation today.
Dredging is an excavation activity usually carried out underwater with the purpose of gathering up bottom sediments and disposing of them at a different location. This technique is often used to keep waterways navigable. In our case, it is the next in our series of ‘seed businesses’ that can help to generate jobs and funding, as well as providing an immediately local resource (i.e. sand) vital in the construction process. The dredging business is an exciting economic development angle for the Chife Foundation, as it has potential to generate funds that can further support the initiatives underway in Anam.
Dredging is also used as a way to replenish sand on some public beaches, where sand has been lost because of coastal erosion. The process of dredging creates spoils (the excess material), which are carried away from the dredged area. Dredging can also produce materials for land reclamation or other purposes, usually construction-related.
Because dredging involves the removal of accumulated bottom sediments it is also used to maintain or enlarge a navigation channel or for the purposes of waterfront construction, utilities placement and environmental remediation. Anam farmers have indicated that the Ezichi has reduced in size and depth significantly in the past 10 years due to erosion (caused by recent tree cover loss) which has augmented the problem of sedimentation in the Ezichi River. Many will be glad to see the river dredged as it can help to keep it navigable.
There is some concern over the environmental effects of dredging and disposal of dredged material (sometimes contaminated), the increasing unavailability of suitable disposal sites and dredging role in supporting waterborne commerce have combined to raise public interest in dredging and disposal of the material.
Landscape Sites in Anam City
Kicking off mid-February, The Chife Foundation is excited to be working with Ball State University of Indiana to examine several critical landscape sites in Anam City. Landscape, ecological and agricultural systems are foundational in Anam City’s design. The project team is looking forward to the innovative ideas and approaches that can come from the partnership with Ball State’s Landscape Architecture Program. Instructor Simon Bussiere will be guiding eight graduate students pursuing their Masters of Landscape Architecture as they examine and develop holistic site design strategies for several landscape typologies within the city. The students will focus on indigenous planting and landscape materials, as well as ways to integrate social and infrastructural systems into the city’s design. The designs may also incorporate biogas generation, multi-modal transportation, urban agriculture, stormwater management, invasive species mitigation, and waste management.
The various site include:
Ecological Transect of Anam City
- Half House/Half Farm Plot
- Fish Farm as a Floating Public Park
- Transit Node: Public Landscape Axis
- Pocket park: Public Landscape Axis
- Dynamic Waterfront Edge
- Civic Waterfront
- Agro-Industrial Working Waterfront
- Leaning Landscape for Anam Academy
You can follow the course’s progress on their Agropolitan Studio Blog. This is one of several university partnerships the Chife Foundation has developed to expand teaching and learning during the design development of Anam City, Nigeria.
Annual ﬂooding has become a part of life in Anam. People travel throughout the region from farm to market on the rivers by canoe to conduct trade. They respond to the natural hydrological systems for their survival and have innovated many solutions for managing their resources during the ﬂoods. On farm settlements, farmers build ﬂexible farm storage and construct mounds near their housing for protection.
The wetland condition resulting from the ﬂoods are a critical contributor to regional biodiversity and ecological strength.The seasonal ﬂoodwaters serve as a natural irrigation and deposits nutrient-rich sediments on to farmlands. However, increasing population and urbanization creates pressure on the hydrologic system in this riverine area. Conventional development causes wetland areas to be reduced, which damages water supply and quality. A depleted ﬂood plain also increases risk of ﬂooding in other areas of the region as water rushes in during the rainy season, contributing to aggressive erosion. International research on climate change issues also demonstrate that vulnerable areas such as Anam will be at even greater risk as water levels rise.
The design of ANAM CITY takes an ecological approach to urban development that manages nature and civilization, such that neither is compromised. The city will preserve and enhance 85% of the existing wetlands, while urban infrastructure will follow low-impact guidelines so that stormwater can actually complement the city’s design. The result is an emerging wetland and riverfront edge that will mitigate any human impacts and allow for the long term stability of both the community and ecological systems. The Anam culture of canoe transport is also integral to the urban design framework for the city, which will address the Ezichi River for its primary access points.