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The Delta State Government has called on residents on lowlands and flood-prone areas to relocate to higher planes to escape the impending flooding.

Flooding in Asaba, Delta State

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Sir Festus Ahon, made the call in a statement on Wednesday in Asaba.

He said that the warning had become necessary to enable the people relocate to safe areas following the release of water from Cameroon’s Lagdo Dam into the Rivers Niger and Benue.

He said that the state government was concerned about the lives and property of citizens living in flood-prone areas in the face of earlier warnings from the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).

According to Ahon, Gov Sheriff Oborevwori has approved the creation of a 14-man Flood Disaster Management Committee to mitigate the challenges expected by the impending flood.

“The committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Kingsley Emu, has been saddled with the responsibility of carrying out aggressive sensitisation of citizens on the impending flood.

“The committee will also propose appropriate measures for the prevention and management of flooding, address the displacement of people and suggest ways for the provision of relief materials to victims,” he said.

Ahon said that the state government had been informed that the authorities of Lagdo Dam in Cameroon would be releasing modulated amounts of water into the River Benue and River Niger due to flooding caused by torrential rainfall.

He said that the state government would provide support to those displaced from their homes by the rising water level occasioned by the overflow of the River Benue and River Niger.

“Already His Excellency, Gov. Oborevwori has approved the setting up of a Flood Disaster Management Committee to ensure that persons displaced from their homes as a result of the impending flood are adequately catered for.

“They will be accommodated at various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps nearest to them.

“We are therefore calling on affected citizens to call the following numbers – 08064137841 and 08037200696 – for government intervention in the case of flooding,” the governor’s spokesman said.

In a related development, the Ikorodu Local Government Council Chairman in Lagos State, Mr Wasiu Adesina, has warned the residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages to prevent perennial flooding.

Adesina, who gave the warning in an interview on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, in Ikorodu, Lagos, stated that the warning is to caution residents who had cultivated the habit of dumping refuse in the drainage and canals meant to allow free flow of water to prevent flooding.

“Ikorodu is considered to be part of the flood prone areas of Lagos due to its closeness to the lagoon.

“This is the reason we are doing our best in ensuring that drainages are cleared to allow the free flow of water.

“Some of the areas noticed were the Sabo market where the council had laid asphalted roads and reconstructed the two-side drainage system.

“We have also done some drainage clearing and reconstruction of canals and drainage system at itundumidogaran.

“We have cleared lots of drainages for easy passage of water during downpours at Aga area, Ita-Elewa Otambala to Ota-Ona road, mentioned but few,” he said.

Adesina said he had directed the environment department of the council to identify any drainage and canals that had either  dilapidated or blocked for immediate evacuation to allow the free flow of water.

He warned car wash business owners and land developers to ensure that waste water was always channeled into the drainages, while unused sand should be placed appropriately to avoid obstructing the roads and canals.

Adesina said: “The council has also embarked on massive filling of potholes, rehabilitation and expansion of drainages to facilitate the free flow of water.

“I appeal to my people to avoid destroying the drainage system and our roads with the perception of ‘it is government property.’’

The chairman reiterated that his administration would also ensure that bad roads in Ikorodu Central were fixed to curb flooding.

He also directed the Works Department of the council to ensure that asphalt and standard materials were used for the repairs for the roads to last long.

By Ifeanyi Olannye and Adepote Arowojobe

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