We”ll continue to dredge rivers to prevent flooding ― Ogun govt

•To demolish structures obstructing waterways

The Ogun State Government has promised to continue dredging of rivers to give way for the free flow of water, so as to prevent recurrence of flooding in parts of the state.

Stating this on Sunday was the State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu -Balogun, during the inspection of areas and places affected by the flood that ravaged Abeokuta, the state capital, on Saturday.

Tribune Online/Nigerian Tribune recalled that torrential rain that lasted for more than 18-hours, left many residents living in flood-prone areas, homeless while property worth several millions of naira destroyed.

Abudu-Balogun in the company of his counterpart from Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Tunji Odunlami, attributed human activities such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways as one of the factors responsible for the flooding.

Areas visited by the state government team include Ijeja; Amolaso; Isale-Igbein; Ori-Omi, Sokori among others.

“As a government, we are going to take a decisive step to ensure that residents comply with environmental laws. We are happy that no life was lost yesterday (Saturday). We will ensure that corrections are made to forestall annual recurrence of this natural disaster.

“We have seen the extent of the damage done by the flooding. We will continue to dredge canals in the state to allow for free passage of water.

“The effect of human activities, that is building on waterways and indiscriminate dumping of refuse inside stream and rivers are factors responsible for what we are seeing here. We can all see the devastating effect that these have caused.”

Odunlami expressed the regrets of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration on the unfortunate incident, saying despite sensitisation, many residents still encroached on the terrain of water causes.

He explained that the government might not have a choice than to demolish houses obstructing waterways while advising people living along river channels to vacate their places of abode to a safe place.

“Demolition is the last resort. If 500 lives are been affected by one structure due to human error, definitely such building will have to give way in the interest of the public. It is government responsibility to secure lives and property,” the commissioner added.

Speaking with our reporter, the Baale of Amolaso, Chief Anthony Bello, appealed to the state government to channelise the stream from Gbangba through Ijeun Titun to Isabo down to Amolaso.

 

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