IN view of rainfall hitting its peak period of the year, Oyo State government has cautioned residents of flood prone areas of Ibadan, like Akobo, Sawmill, Temidire, Ebenezery, Gbaremu, Omi, Aba Alamu on the need to evacuate whenever rain persisted for over 30 minutes.
This is just as the state’s Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said it had engaged contractors to commence the dredging of 14 identified streams and rivers and unblocking of blocked drainages at Iwo Road interchange and Agodi Gate area of Ibadan.
As a matter of urgency, the streams and rivers identified for dredging are located in Aba Alamu, Osun Abolowojaiye, Ebenezery, Owode, Temidire-Oje-Beyerunka, Omi, Oloro, Ayedada-Egbeda-Tuba-Papa Eleye, Foworogun River, Gbaremu, Arooye Stream, Anifalaje, Yokele and Odo Ona.
Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Isaac Ishola, had earlier hinted of the commencement of sensitisation against dumping refuse in drainages, and avoiding low, broken, submerged bridges and culverts, whenever rain persisted for about 30 minutes.
Coordinator, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, Mr Dayo Ayorinde, assured of collaborative efforts with the ministry to ensure that the dredging of the 14 rivers commenced immediately.
He hinged on the state government’s efforts to avoid a flood disaster as forecasted by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), but enjoined residents in flood prone areas to be cautious, especially, when rain persisted.
“Government has 14 identified rivers that we need to quickly dredge and the dredging will commence this week. The Ministry of Environment has taken the contractors to the flood prone areas that have been identified. There is no cause for alarm because actions are being taken. However, even if water bodies are clean, the people still need to be careful. After continuous rains for over 30 minutes, people who live in these flood prone areas should evacuate,” Ayorinde said.
Ayorinde listed ongoing emergency measures in Abatakan and Abonde areas of the state, as well as civil works which he said had commenced at Ogbere-pegba, Cele Rainbow, Ola Adura and Sasha Oshajin out of 14 priority areas identified.