Sokoto - The Sokoto State Government on Tuesday announced the immediate closure of some gravel and white sand excavation sites in Wamakko Local Government Area.
The affected sites are located in Arkilla, Barkeji and Kammata villeges.
The Commissioner for Environment, Dr Jabbi Kilgori, made the announcement in Sokoto during a meeting with the leadership of the state chapters of quarry and articulated vehicle owners' associations.
Kilgori said "the decision was informed by the various threats posed by activities of the excavators to human lives and the environment.''
The commissioner, who said that Governor Aliyu Wamakko had approved the closure of the sites, added that gravel and white sand had been excavated over the years in the area, but that has to stop now.
"The closure is aimed at saving lives and property, as well as protecting the environment.''
He also announced the immediate sealing of all the roads leading to the affected sites.
He added that the meeting was summoned to intimate the unions about the decision of the state government.
Strict measures would be put in place to ensure compliance by the affected stakeholders, he noted, stressing that security agents would be involved to assist in ensuring adherence to the directive.
He, however, announced 10 alternative approved sites for the excavators in Lokobi, Ruggar Mande, Gatare, Yarome, Kulafasa, Munkeri, Mungorori, Kwalkwalawa, Gwamfar Gebe and Kurungu.