Oyo State Government has urged residents of the State, especially those in flood-prone Local Government areas, to take precautionary measures in respect of the flood alert from the administration.
The State Government, which spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, stated that every necessary step must be taken to avoid disaster.
According to her, to forestall flooding and its attendant effects, residents of the State, especially those in Ona Ara, Lagelu, Oyo East, Kajola, Egbeda, Ogbomoso South, Iseyin, Ibarapa North, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan North-West and Ibadan South-East Local Government Areas, are required to clear surroundings and streets; drain channels and avoid dumping wastes improperly.
She said: “It is even of paramount importance that our people should take necessary precautions during heavy rainfall or in the event of flooding. People living in houses built along floodplains should relocate to safer places, avoid the use of low bridges and culverts when the rain is persistent, and whenever there is rainfall, people should avoid staying under high tension electricity installations.”
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the SSG added that residents must also ensure “that each household keeps a dustbin and patronizes Government-approved waste disposal contractors, avoid building on floodplains, obtain building approvals from relevant statutory bodies before commencing building, among others.”
Mrs. Adeosun stated that as part of efforts to put an end to the menace of flooding in the State, the Government has given its full backing to the total implementation of the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, ( IUFMP), the State-owned flood risk mitigation project with funding and technical assistance from the World Bank.
She noted that the project has constructed ultramodern hydraulic structures at 17 locations in Ibadan, as well as construction of extensive drains/adjoining roads to the structures, adding that the rehabilitation of the 78-year-old Eleyele Dam recently commissioned by the Governor is also part of the efforts to contain flooding.
According to the SSG, the warning alert became imperative following the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) and Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRP) released by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) respectively, which, she said, signposted the State among those prone to some extent of flooding in 2020.
She noted that on a larger scale, processing of the proposed channelization of major rivers and water channels in Ibadan under the IUFMP Scheme, is at an advanced stage, with some of the works already awarded to reputable contractors.
This implies that major water courses in Ibadan like Ona, Ogbere, Orogun, Kudeti, Agodi Channel, etc. will soon undergo major channelization which, when completed, would boost the runoff draining capacity of the city.
The Government called on all Media houses in the State, which it noted are critical stakeholders and co-partners for development, to make dissemination of warning messages on flooding part of their daily routine, to safeguard the State from calamities, saying “the situation at hand demands our proactive response and collaborative effort.”