By Adebisi Adeyemi Lagos, Nigeria
The Oyo State Government has disclosed that 24 rivers will be dredged as part of the proactive measures to mitigate against flooding in the state, saying that it has ordered the removal of about 200 illegal structures at Ojoo Round-about, Ojoo Area in Ibadan.
The government noted that the rivers have been approved for dredging through the World Bank assisted project, Ibadan Urban Flood management, stressing that the measures are part of the action taken by the government in preparedness for the heavy downpour.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Isaac Ishola, who revealed this during a visit to Ikere Dam, Ikere Village, Iseyin on Thursday, explained that there is ongoing sensitization to ensure total compliance with the environmental sanitation rules and regulations to educate the citizens on the need to avert flood.
Ishola, stated that the visit to the dam was to ascertain the level at which waste water is being discharged in order not to cause overflowing of other dams which could lead to flood, saying “the 2011 flood was as a result of overflows of Eleyele dam reservoir. Therefore, we will visit every dam in the state as part of measures put in place by government to mitigate re-occurrence of flood.”
The Commissioner admonished the people towards poor attitudinal change on environmental cleanliness by ensuring that the generated waste is kept according to the government’s policy on waste collection, urging that people should desist from dumping refuse into the drainages during raining and stop erecting kiosks on culverts to allow free flow of water.
He therefore enjoined the public to adhere strictly to the State Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management Laws, noting that environmental issue is a collective responsibility.
Mr. Ishola commended the Federal Government’s effort for putting in place necessary machinery for the effective use of Ikere Dam, pledging that there will be synergy between the State and the Federal Government in turning the place to a tourist centre that will improve the Internally Generated Revenue.
The Commissioner ordered the removal of about 200 illegal structures at Ojoo Round-about, Ojoo Area in Ibadan while monitoring the weekly environmental sanitation exercise within the State capital.
According to him “Government places more priority on the cleanliness of our environment. We will not allow any person or group of persons to jeopardize our efforts in ensuring a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. We have received several letters from Ojoo Police Station that the said illegal market is a security threat.”
Speaking, the Caretaker Chairman, Akinyele South LCDA, Hon. Olumide Alli pledged that adequate security would be provided on the site not to allow illegal trading activities, stressing that Government does not intend to place hardship on the public but to ensure a healthy, hygienic and habitable environment attractive to investors.