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Oyo govt. restates commitment to flood mitigation projects, says Commissioner



The Oyo State Government says it is committed to the implementation of Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), and other intervention programmes to mitigate flooding in the state.

Mr Kehinde Ayoola, the State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, gave the assurance on Monday, during a news briefing on flood alert and preparedness in Oyo state.

Ayoola said the present administration took cognisance of the report of Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIMSA), which gave a frightening prediction of flooding in some states, including Oyo.

He said Ibadan, the state capital, was the major flood-prone area in the state due to the vulnerability of the city to rivers while urban flooding was induced by the city’s topographic terrain.

“It is in the light if this that the government has expressed its unreserved commitment to the full implementation of the IUFMP, the state-owned flood risk mitigation project with funding and technical assistance from the World Bank,” Ayoola said.

According to the commissioner, the highly capacious ultra-modern hydraulic structures constructed in some areas in Ibadan metropolis were already functional.

“They are functional with extension works on the access roads to the bridges and culverts completed, thus helping to open up the respective communities in the areas where they are located.

“The structures have once and for all, relieved those hitherto flood-ravaged areas of incessant flooding and the attendant calamities that came in its wake,” Ayoola said.

He announced that rehabilitation of the 77-year-old Eleyele dam in Ibadan was on schedule.

Ayoola said the work was targeted at averting failure of the dam, saying this was to avert the repeat of the flooding of Aug. 26, 2011, which ravaged most parts of Ibadan.

He added that the proposed channelisation of major rivers and water channels in Ibadan under IUFMP scheme was being processed and would soon commence.

Ayoola appealed to residents of the state to clear their surrounding and drains as well as avoid dumping of wastes indiscriminately.

He called on each household to keep a dustbin, patronise government-approved waste disposal contractors and avoid building on flood plains.

Ayoola said the government had established four Environmental Mobile Tribunals that would sanction those that contravened environmental laws and regulations, adding that the tribunals would soon commence operations.

On safety tips during rainfall, the commissioner said, ”once rain persists for about 20 minutes, people living in houses built along flood plains should relocate to safer places.

“People should avoid the use of low bridges and culverts when rain is persistent, also people should avoid staying under high tension electricity installations during downpour,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Razak Owolabi/Felix Ajide

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