Posted July 9, 2020
Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Government has promised to continue dredging of rivers to give way for free flow of water, so as to prevent recurrence of flooding in parts of the state.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Abiodun Abudu -Balogun, made this known on Sunday, during the inspection of areas and places affected by the flood that ravaged Abeokuta, the state capital, on Saturday.
Areas visited by the state government team included Ijeja; Amolaso; Isale-Igbein; Ori-Omi, Sokori among others.
Speaking to newsmen after the inspection, Abudu-Balogun, accompanied by his counterpart from the Physical Planning and Urban Development Ministry, Tunji Odunlami, noted indiscriminate dumping of refuse on water ways as one of the factors responsible for the flooding.
“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 water ways 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”. He said.
Also speaking, Odunlami expressed the regrets of the 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 government might not have choice than to demolish houses obstructing water ways, 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 being 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’s responsibility to secure lives and property,” the commissioner stated.
Meanwhile, the Baale of one of the affected communities, Amolaso in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Anthony Bello, has appealed to the state government to channelise the stream from Gbangba through Ijeun Titun to Isabo down to Amolaso.