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.