Osun Flood: Government Promises To Clear Waterways Again

Rauf Aregbesola Osun State governor on flood The Osun State government has promised to intensify efforts to ensure that waterways are cleared to avert a recurrence of flooding that led to the death of one person and destruction of property.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his Deputy, Mrs Titilayo Tomori-Laoye, made the promise on Wednesday evening when they visited some of the areas affected by the flood to commiserate with them.

Addressing reporters at the Cac Oke Igbala DCC Headquarters in Gbonmi area of Osogbo, Governor Aregbesola said his administration was deeply sorry for the loss of life and property of the people.

Regularly Desilting Waterways

The Governor urged the residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said was largely responsible ‎for the flooding.

Osun State Flood
Vehicles submerged after the rains

He said his administration had in time past invested so much in dredging the major waterways identified as flood prone zones ‎to avert such occurrence.

Governor Aregbesola, however, promised that his government would ‎intensify efforts at ensuring that the waterways were made free to avert future occurrence.

“We have been very much committed to ensuring absence of this calamity.

“Since the advent of the administration, we have been regularly desilting the waterways on an annual basis.

He said that although the state had received a flood alert, the government had, considering its deflooding efforts, it never expected it to have the devastating effect.

It had rained heavily for hours in Osogbo the capital of Osun State, resulting to flooding of some communities.

Residents said help that came from the emergency agencies or the state authorities was late.

Osun-flood
Residents said the low nature of the bridge contributed largely to the flooding

Channels Television’s correspondent, who returned to the scene of the incident, said residents property have been destroyed and the flooding has left one person dead.

A woman and her daughter were trapped in a store just as many of the residents around one of the communities were stranded after a bridge collapsed.

One of the residents affected said the cause of the flooding was a bridge that they said drainages within the area were channeled, which they insisted was too low.

“The government should break down that bridge and carry it up just like that of Ajegunle and create a very good gutter here. That is all we need,” he requested.

Flood Leaves Residents Homeless In Ayetoro

flood, residents of Anambra, NEMA,Residents of Ayetoro in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, are already feeling the effect of the predicted flooding, as their homes have been washed away after a heavy rain.

This comes days after flash flood prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NMA).

Although no life was lost in the incident, the State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye, reacting to this incident, asked residents to desist from building their structures on waterways.

Mr Oyeleye also advised residents to always maintain good environmental practices, saying their actions were largely responsible for the incident.

Residents of this community old and young tried to salvage what remained of their personal belongings after a torrential rain which lasted for about three hours.

Homes flooded, vehicles and other personal effects were not left out of this.
This was partly as a result of building on the waterways and indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

Some of the residents of the community have been cut off from the rest of the community, as the bridge leading to their homes have been cut down by the rain.

The Residents of Ayetoro now depend on makeshift steps of stones to reach their homes.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency had warned of flash floods in some states of the federation with Ogun State not left out.

However, the Ogun State government is working with the National Emergency Management Authority to create more awareness on flood prevention and control.

El-Rufai Visits Flooded Areas, Promises Govt. Support For Victims

el-rufaiKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has visited some of the communities that were submerged by a heavy flood to ascertain the level of devastation.                   

The Governor who was accompanied by his Deputy, Bala Bantex, and other top government functionaries, visited some parts of Tudun Wada, Gonin-Gora, Romi, Sabon Tasha, Kabala West, among others.

El-Rufai described the flood as very devastating and the highest to happen in the state.

He gave the assurance of government’s support to the victims of the flood, saying that those displaced from their homes would be provided with temporary shelter until the floods are over.

He also stressed the need to discourage people from building houses along river banks and floodplain areas, in order to avoid a future ugly incident.

While in Romi, the Governor inspected an abandoned bridge in the area, which he said was responsible for the flooding.

The flood is said to have submerged at least 2,000 houses in the state.

Agency Warns Nigerians Of flooding, Calls For Preparation

flooding-in-the-Northern-Part-of-NigeriaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has warned that without adequate sensitisation and preparation Nigeria may witness another flood disaster this year.

At the 2014 Flood Prevention Mitigation and Preparedness Workshop in Minna on Wednesday, the Director NEMA Zonal Office, Slack Lugard, asked Nigerians to be proactive and pay attention to their immediate environment.

He also urged the media to partner the agency in educating the people on the causes and prevention of flood.

On April 11, NEMA asked residents living in flood prone areas and near river banks in some parts of Kaduna, Sokoto, Jigawa and other parts of the north west zone to vacate their residences in order to avoid being affected by this year’ flooding.

The order came two days after heavy rain caused the death of three people, including two children, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The rain started at about 11: pm local time on April 9 and lasted for about four hours.

The impact was only discovered in the morning when most of the streets around Offa Garage area were blocked with trees and about 25 vehicles which were parked within the garages and parking lots of their owners had been washed into the main roads, thereby causing several hours of gridlocks.

The flood also cut off a large chunk of soil from beneath the rail track of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, cutting through the road thereby making it impassable for the train.

A section of the rail track behind Kingdom Heritage Secondary School was also affected.

The agency’s warning is aimed at forestalling a recurrence of the 2012 flooding that left over 360 persons dead.

Over 2,100,000 people as of November 5 were displaced.

After the Meteorological Agency of Nigeria forecast showed that Nigeria would experience a short rainy season this year, the Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr Samuel Ortom, said that the Federal Government would continue to put measures in place to avert a repeat of the 2012 flooding that affected many parts of the country.

 

No Agency In Nigeria Can Handle Weather Threats – Environmentalist

Following the National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMA) prediction of torrential rainfall in Southern Nigeria on Tuesday, 18th June, an environmentalist, Sulaiman Arigbabu, has on Wednesday disclosed the agency’s inability to manage environmental threats in the country.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Arigbabu said that “although NEMA has been trying to be there, it is not enough.”

Commenting on the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure that the effect of climate change in the country has minimal impact, Mr Arigbabu is of the opinion that the government is not doing enough as “there is no single agency that can rise up to the level of threat that we are facing” in Nigeria.

He commended NEMA’s prompt action in warning citizens of the weather forecast but said that it is not enough to issue warning and not educate the populace on the necessary actions to take.

He added that the mode of passing information is not comprehensive as many people would not be aware of warning when it is passed in such short notice.

We are working towards averting floods for the next half century – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that his administration is working towards averting floods in the country for the next 30 to 50 years.

The President gave this assurance in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, when he visited the state to assess the damage caused by flood in parts of the state and also to commiserate with the victims.

In a bid to tackle flooding, he assured the speedy completion of the Kashin-bila dam in Taraba State; the construction of a dam on River Benue and dykes across the country.

While lamenting the condition of the victims, the President also decried economic losses suffered by the victims, assuring that the Federal Government would do everything to mitigate the effect of the flood on their lives.

He noted that the Federal Government had already released N500 million to the state government stressing that this would be disbursed to the victims to assist them to pick up their lives again.

Jonathan also promised the release of funds to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to purchase improved seedlings that would be distributed to farmers across the country, adding that money will also be given to the Ministry of Health to ensure control of water borne diseases like cholera and diarrhoea in parts of the country in the aftermath of the flooding.

He said: “Government is committed to turning your calamity into a blessing. Those of you who lost farmlands would be given high yielding seedlings to make you improve your farm produce. We will help you start new economic lives and pray that you do not suffer from such calamity again.”

He expressed appreciation to developmental partners, non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, security agencies and other well-meaning Nigerians for their support to the flood victims across the nation.

 

FEC says flooding is national emergency; opens by-passes on Lokoja-Abuja road

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has described the flooding in Kogi State and other parts of the country as a national emergency and calls on all Nigerians to stop blaming the government and assist it in the provision of succour to the affected peoples.

Aerial view images of flooding around river Niger in Lokoja

The Minister for the Environment, Hadiza Melafia who spoke to state house correspondents after the council meeting said that the flooding being experienced in the country does not in any way fall into what can be described as man-made describing it as a natural phenomenon happening everywhere in the world.

Ms Melafia said the presidential committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan have visited seven states to ascertain the extent of impact of the flood on life and infrastructure and to identify immediate areas of intervention.

“The most devastating that we have witnessed is that of Kogi State where we have a major road completely made impassable.

“We have also seen a lot of infrastructure submerged and witnessed very traumatising experiences by people that were affected,’’ she said.

She said among the consequences of the flooding was huge loss of farmlands which might likely pose a threat to food security.

The minister said academic calendar was affected, people were displaced and there was likelihood of health challenges in the affected areas.
She underscored the need for Nigerians to make concerted efforts towards addressing the challenges of climate change.

She said the River Niger which over-flew its bank in Lokoja flows from Guinea Conakry through the northern region where there was acute desertification.

By-passes on Lokojo-Abuja road

Meanwhile, following the reports of a survey on the Kogi flooding by the presidential committee, the Federal Executive Council will on Thursday open a by-passes as a diversion for vehicles to drive through the Lokoja-Abuja road.

The Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenen, disclosed this to State House correspondents, after this week’s Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

Mr Onolemenen said the bye-passes which had been created around the flooded area would be opened to motorists from Thursday.
He said government had engaged construction giants in the country to create the bye-passes as a temporary measure to ease the suffering of commuters.

“What we’ve been doing since yesterday morning is that around the flooded area, we identified a bye-pass which we have created.

“As at this morning, we have attained about 60 per cent completion. From the way we are going, by tomorrow, the road should be opened to motorists.

“We have done a diversion at those drainages and vehicles will be able to now drive normally through this bye-pass without having recourse to canoes on our roads as a result of the flooding that happened.

“For us, that was a national priority because we needed to open that particular transport corridor so that movement between the southern states and the northern states will not be impaired.

“We have done that and I want Nigerians to be assured that government is with them in this situation and that government will continue to do all in its power to ensure that the pains are reduced to the barest minimum,” he said.