As the rains begin in earnest, coupled with the warning of impending flashflood in some parts of Ogun State from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, the State House of Assembly today passed a resolution seeking urgent need for effective flood control across the State to save the lives and properties of the people.

The State lawmakers passed the resolution following a robust debate, after which the motion converting the debate into House resolution was move by the Majority Leader Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by Hon. Yusuf Amosun and supported by a unanimous voice vote by all the lawmakers.

Earlier while opening debate on the House Resolution titled: H.R. No. 100/ OG/ 2024- “Urgent Need for Effective Flood Control Across the State”, the sponsor, Hon. Folawewo Salami said that having recognized the pressing need for flood control and drainage maintenance in the State, there was a need for the residents of the State, the State Ministry of Environment, and the 20 Local Government Councils to take proactive measures for effective flood control across the State.

The call, Hon. Salami noted became imperative in the light of the 2024 weather forecast by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET), which predicted significant rain and coastal flooding due to rising sea levels.

“Mr. Speaker, emphasizing the importance of maintaining tertiary drainage channels, there is a need for the State Ministry of Environment to provide clear guidelines for desilting and dredging drainage channels in communities. Furthermore, it is paramount for the State Ministry of Information, private media houses, and companies to raise awareness and encourage residents to take responsibility for drainage maintenance.

To ensure compliance with drainage maintenance regulations, there must be improved utilization of Environmental Health Officers within Local Government Services.

Additionally, it is imperative to establish uniform punitive measures, including community service penalties, to discourage neglect by individuals, business premises and industries across the State”, Hon. Salami stated.

He therefore called on the State Government to ensure that all residents, commercial centers, and companies take proactive measures in maintaining and dredging their respective tertiary drainage channels according to the specifications provided by the State Ministry of Environment.

According to him, “Local Government Councils across the State should urgently clear primary drainage channels, while the State Ministry of Environment focuses on clearing canals and major rivers across the State. Sir, just recently over the weekend, there was an occurrence of a flashflood within my constituency that claimed the life of an innocent resident in Odo Awela between Oluke, Oyero and Lisa; even as the loss of valuable properties occasioned by flooding in Kara and Isheri axis is still fresh in our memory.

The State Ministry of Information and Strategy should be directed to enhance public awareness campaigns, educating residents about the importance of regular drainage maintenance. Emphasis should be placed on fostering an attitudinal change among residents regarding their responsibility to prevent flash floods by maintaining drainage channels.

The State Ministry of Environment and all the Local Government Councils should collaborate in developing and implementing effective enforcement mechanisms. This includes better utilization of environmental health officers, known as “wole wole,” to monitor and ensure compliance with drainage maintenance regulations, identifying and penalizing offenders.

The State Ministry of Environment should formulate appropriate punitive measures for individuals and corporate entities neglecting their drainage maintenance responsibilities. Additionally, the Assembly requests regular reports from the State Ministry of Environment and Local Government Councils on the progress made in flood control and drainage maintenance efforts to ensure accountability and continuous improvement”, he submitted.

Others who took turn to contribute including the Majority Leader Yusuf Sheriff, Minority Leader Lukman Adeleye, Deputy Chief Whip Babatunde Tella, Honourables Adeyanju Adegoke and Segun Kaka sought the need for the Ministry of Physical Planning to always enforce compliance to approval for construction of drainage and necessary set back away from water channels before property developers begin construction.

In his response, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oludaisi Elemide corroborated his colleague-lawmakers by calling on the Physical Planning Ministry to synergize with the Ministry of Environment to supervise, the desilting and clearing of drainage and waterways, and avoid dumping of refuse in the drainages; while counselling property developers to avoid erecting structures below the water level.

Related Articles

Back to top button