11 LGs in Oyo at risk of flooding from September

Eleven Local Government Areas of Oyo State are at risk of experiencing flash flooding from rainfalls between September and November this year.

As contained in the 2020 Annual flood outlook of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the local councils at risk of flooding are Ona Ara, Lagelu, Oyo East, Kajola, Egbeda, Ogbomoso South, Iseyin, Ibarapa North, Ibadan South West, Ibadan North West and Ibadan South East.

The identified local government areas are said to be predisposed to flooding due to blockage of drainage systems, encroachment and building of structures on flood plains and waterways, poor waste management practices, deforestation, use of river channels as waste repositories, poor compliance to land use zoning/building codes.

The looming risk ahead was identified when the Oyo State government convened a stakeholders meeting involving caretaker Chairmen and Community development associations of the flood risk local government areas, at state Secretariat, Ibadan, on Wednesday.

It will be recalled that some parts of Ibadan had on June 30 experienced flash flooding.

Speaking at the event, Secretary to the Oyo state government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, noted that the vulnerability of Ibadan and some other parts of the state is due to the towns’ topographic terrain, the problem of indiscriminate waste disposal and building of houses on flood plains.

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In preparing for the imminent flooding, Adeosun said the state, through the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), was processing the channelisation of major rivers and watercourses like Ona, Ogbere, Orogun, Kudeti, Agodi.

Aside from planned channelisation, she added that the IUFMP had completed the construction of 17 hydraulic structures in Ibadan, complemented with drains and adjoining roads to boost the runoff draining capacity of Ibadan.

Irrespective of state government’s plans, she, however, tasked residents of the state to also take responsibility by clearing drain channels in their surroundings, avoiding improper waste disposal, avoiding building on floodplains, keeping dustbin, patronizing government-approved waste disposal contractors and obtaining building approvals from statutory bodies before commencing building.

Adeosun particularly enjoined people living on floodplains to relocate to safer places, avoid the use of low bridges and culverts whenever rainfall is persistent.

In his own remarks, state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Idowu Oyeleke tasked local government Chairmen to help stem flooding, in their capacities, by dredging rivers and moving against indiscriminate waste disposal.

Speaking in the same vein, South-West zonal director, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Slaku Lugard decried that local government authorities and community development associations were not doing enough to help government stem flooding.

Lugard harped on the need for increased sensitisation for residents on their attitudes so as to better protect the environment from disasters.

Speaking, Coordinator, IUFMP, Dayo Ayorinde assured that channelisation and dredging of major rivers and watercourses was ongoing while there was also plan to implement the Ibadan drainage master plan in the long run.

Making his own contribution, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju also hinted of plans of the state government to engage sanitation inspectors.

Some participants at the meeting enjoined the state government to empower some representatives in communities to monitor people’s compliance with environmental regulations and report offenders.

A task force to mitigate flood risk this year was subsequently set up.

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11 LGs at risk of flooding

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11 LGs at risk of flooding

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