Ondo budgets N2b for new flood control measures

Flood

Season of flooding is here…take action

FOLLOWING the budget of about N2.075 billion earmarked by the Ondo State Government to attend to ecological problems across the three ecological zones, the authorities have initiated moves to adopt permanent and anticipatory measures to control flood in the state.

The course of the river in many areas are blocked by developers in violation of extant town planning regulations which permit not less than 15 metres set back from the course of the river before commencement of development, while indiscriminate dumping of wastes by the residents hampers the free flow of the rivers.

Recently, the Ministry of Environment embarked on the channelization of River Dada in Ikare, which extends to several parts of Akoko North East and North West as well as channelization works at Ipele and Owo all in the North Senatorial District and Akure the state capital that is crisis crossed by the Ala River that usually wreaks havoc during the rainy season.

Ondo State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Sola Ebiseni, who spoke his ministry’s activities in the area of flood and erosion, said works are on-going in different locations.

For instance, in Ondo town, channelization of the Lisaluwa River, which covers areas around Ade Super, Anglican Communion, Fagun Estate, Lipakala and very recently areas along Ondo/Ife Road. In Igbokoda in the Southern area, channelization works were carried out in areas particularly on the tributary of Ofara River through Ilara area into Oluwa River by the Naval Base, also at Okiti Ilusosi into Ofara River by Kelema. At Ore, the channelization at the Idi-Mango area will be revisited.

As a matter of fact, last year some areas like IluAgbo, Igbobini and large part of the south experienced flooding as a result of the overflow of Oluwa River, the Ministry is studying the situation this year, based on the advice of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency with a view to advising residents to vacate the flood plains if it becomes necessary.

Concrete channelizations were long carried out at NEPA in Akure, Egure Oloja in Ilutitun and the new Apata area of Okitipupa.

However, permanent channelization projects are on-going at Araromi and Oja Oshodi in Akure; Lipakala, Jilalu in Ondo; Ajelu-Glory filed Ile Oluji while the one at Ofara-Kelema Primary School – Orikiti Ilu church at Igbokoda will commence soon. “Apart from the above, desilting of rivers and streams across the 18 Local Governments will be embarked upon.

All these are part of the proactive measures constantly taken by the Ondo state government which thank goodness appear to have insulated the state from serious flooding”.

The Commissioner said the main challenge to effectively do the job is lack of fund, adding that combating issues of environmental degradation is highly capital intensive such that the state will require federal attention in many areas.

Several areas that are proposed by the state government for permanent flood control measures including River Dada in Ikare, Ijala River in Owo, Ala/Elegbin river courses in Akure, Lisaluwa/Lipakala Rivers in Ondo, Government field in Ore, Yewa River by General Hospital Okitipupa, embankment of Oluwa/Ofara rivers in Igbokoda and Arogbo rivers among others will require intervention of the ecological fund of the Presidency.

Ebiseni stated that course of the river in many of these areas also are blocked by developers in violation of extant town planning regulations which permit not less than 15metres set back from the course of the river before commencement of development. In many other locations too, indiscriminate dumping of wastes by the residents hampers the free flow of the rivers.

According to him, “the measures taken by the ministry in this regards are constant desilting of the river courses, enforcement of town planning regulations through arrest and prosecution of offenders and where necessary the ministry will not hesitate to demolish structures that may create environmental hazard to the generality of the people.”

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