By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Following the aftermath of heavy downpour last Thursday which resulted into flooding of some areas in the State Capital Abeokuta, Ogun State Government has made an on the spot assessment to affected areas with a call to residents to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse along river channels.
The Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele, who led government delegation to affected areas, while addressing residents said the problems had prevailed over the years as a result of failed structures and insufficient capacity that needed repairs.
“What is immediately apparent is that the rivers overflow its bounds because of the reduced capacity in the channels under the road where the water is flowing through and this has been caused by many things.
“One of the most apparent factor identified is indiscriminate dumping of debris in the water, therefore, we call on our people not to use the river as dumping grounds for refuse disposal.
“Another thing observed is that most of the structures have been there for 40 years and some had failed structurally and needed repairs while others have insufficient capacity to stand the test of time,” She explained.
The Deputy Governor added that future expansion of the canals were not put into consideration when most of the houses built around them years ago were constructed.
Salako Oyedele also hinted that having identied the causes of these problem, which are capital intensive, government would immediately step into action by collaborating with the Federal Government for support to the state for implementation of remedial works needed for construction to put an end to the ugly situation.
Giving a background on Sokori river which passes through the whole of Abeokuta, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr Kayode Ademolake pointed out that the river is a confluence point to river Ogun that linked many parts of the state that terminated at Itoku spanning 300km length with so many bridges crossing it.
He added that all these adjourning bridges had constraint as they have under-size for the volume of water passing through them.
Speaking on government intervention on flooding, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, said the Ministy would embark on massive sensitization to educate the people not to dump refuse inside streams and rivers adding that more sanitary inspectors would be deployed to problem areas as well as embarking on dredging of rivers by creating ways for the water to flow freely.
In his contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, Mr Nafiu Adebiyi lamented the non- challant attitudes of residents towards obeying building laws as well as getting the required approvals before erecting structures in the State.
He added that the present administration would not hesitate to wield the big stick on whoever violates government procedures on building approvals adding that the Ministy will give adequate notice to affected residents before removing illegal structures on unapproved areas.
Also Speaking, the iyaloja of Gbangba market, Alhaja Abibat Akanbi appealed to the State Government to help look into the issue of channelization in order to pave way for free flow of water and calling for renovation of market places across the State.
Affected areas visited were Igbore- Ijeja river, Isale Oja kuto and Gbangba market at Iyana- Mortuary all in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of the State.
The Deputy Governor was accompanied by the State Head of Service, Engr Lanre Bisiriyu, Alhaji Salisu Shuaibu.
Others were Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Works and Infrastructure, Engr Kayode Ademolake, Environment, Mrs Yetunde Dina and Mr Nafiu Adebiyi of the Urban and Physical Planning Ministry amongst others.