Following the recent heavy downpour, which resulted in flooding in some parts of Abeokuta, the State Capital, the Ogun State Government has made an on spot assessment to affected areas, with a call on residents to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse along river channels.
The State Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who led government delegation to affected areas, noted that the problems had prevailed over the years, saying, ‘’the rivers overflow its bounds because of the reduced capacity in the channels under the road, where the water is flowing through and this has been caused by many things’’.
“One of the most apparent factor identified is indiscriminate dumping of debris in the water, therefore, we call on our people not to use the river as dumping grounds for refuse disposal.
” Another thing observed is that most of the structures have been there for 40 years and some had failed structurally and needed repairs, while others have insufficient capacity to stand the test of time”, she explained.
The Deputy Governor added that people did not put into consideration, future expansion of the canals when building houses in water ways, hinting that having identified the causes of these problems, government would immediately step into action by collaborating with the Federal Government for support, for implementation of remedial works needed for construction to put an end to the ugly situation.
Giving a background on Sokori river, which passes through the whole of Abeokuta, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Kayode Ademolake pointed out that the river is a confluence point to river Ogun that linked many parts of the State and terminated at Itoku, spanning 300km length, with so many bridges crossing it.
In his contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, Mr. Nafiu Adebiyi lamented the non-challant attitudes of residents towards obeying building laws as well as getting the required approvals before erecting structures in the State.
He added that the present administration would not hesitate to wield the big stick on whoever violated government procedures on building approvals, adding that, adequate notice would be given to affected residents before removing illegal structures on unapproved areas.
Affected areas visited were Igbore- Ijeja River, Isale Oja kuto and Gbangba market at Iyana- Mortuary all in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of the State.
In the same vein, the Ministry of Environment says, it will soon embark on a massive sensitization programme to enlighten people on the need to stop dumping refuse in drainages and water ways in order to curb flooding in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Yetunde Dina, who made this known during an inspection tour of blocked drainages and water-ways in Abeokuta, reiterated that the sensitization programme was necessary, as it would enlighten citizens on the dangers of refuse dumping in drainages and water-ways, especially in this rainy season.
While revealing that Health Officers would be deployed to enforce the environmental laws and also prosecute offenders after the enlightenment programme, she disclosed that the Ministry would soon embark on dredging of drainages, water ways and rivers across the State to aid flow of water and prevent erosion and flooding.
She therefore called on the citizenry to support the State Government’s effort at putting an end to flooding by adhering strictly to all the State’s environmental laws.