Flood alert: Oyo to embark on dredging of rivers

AS part of palliative measures to attend to an impending flood in Oyo State, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state government are set to be involved in the dredging of identified rivers and unblocking of waterways.

According to the Coordinator, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (World Bank Assisted), Mr Dayo Ayorinde, some rivers, streams, tributaries and flood-prone watersheds that caused the 2011 flood in the state, like the Ona River dammed into the Eleyele dam, which passes through parts of Ido and Oluyole local government areas, will be dredged.

He said the emergency dredging was not part of the World Bank/Ibadan Flood Management Project initially, but the state government requested for special assistance from the World Bank for the dredging exercise.

Ayorinde, however, added that the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources had identified some flood-prone areas to be funded by the budget of the state.

Ayorinde listed ongoing emergency measures in Abatakan and Abonde areas of the state, as well as civil works at Ogbere-pegba, Cele Rainbow, Ola Adura and Sasha Oshajin out of 14 priority areas identified.

In view of the flood alert by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola, had hinted that houses, kiosks, shanties and other structures built on waterways, floodplains, drainages and road setbacks had to give way.

These measures, according to Ishola, had become imperative because residents continued to flout building codes, thereby obstructing the free flow of drainages and mounting pressure on roads.

He hinted of the state government’s intention to enforce sanitation laws.