Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 6 August 2015 | 4,763 times
Following the recent flood disaster that caused havoc in different parts of Anambra State, the government has stepped up measures to brace up to the challenges to avert future occurrences.
Speaking while on an inspection tour of some of the on-going erosion control projects in the state, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili, lamented the extent of devastation of land in the state by erosion and reiterated the readiness of the Governor Willie Obiano led administration to tackle any erosion problems in the state.
As part of the measures, it charged contractors handling various erosion control projects in Anambra State not to compromise on the quality of the projects they were undertaking in order not to expose the state to the menace of flood in the future, adding that the government would not accept undue delay on their part to execute the erosion control projects awarded to their companies.
She frowned at the wrong channeling of drainages, which had been blamed for the havoc caused by the floods.
Some of the sites inspected include Judiciary Erosion site, Iyiagu Erosion site and Umubele Erosion site all in Awka. Others include Ebenebe Erosion site, Ebenebe and Ugunu Erosion site in Agulu.
The commissioner noted that the Anambra State Government would not take it lightly with any road contractor who failed to put in place proper flood channels that would help check erosion.
Nwaebili who spoke at Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state where about 20 buildings were recently submerged by flood along the Minaj Road, lamented that some contractors were negligent and terminated the flood channels improperly and thus exposing the state and the people to adverse consequences of flood.
She said that lands engulfed by erosion would be reclaimed and warned contractors to strictly adhere to specifications to ensure that the erosion projects that would be handed over to communities were sustainable.
She explained further that investigations revealed that reasonable percentage of the gully problems were precipitated by human actions, wrong termination of road constructions and development along flood plains and called on the indigenes and residents of Obosi to be environment friendly in other to save the State from avoidable monumental ecological problems.
In his reaction, General Manager of Mannison Nigeria Limited, Mr. Emmanuel Abbi, the engineering company handling one the erosion projects, commended the Anambra State Government for its resolve to deploy resources in the area of erosion control and flood management.
He explained that the challenge confronting his company had been delay in the release of funds from the State Government saying that his company had the capacity and capability to complete and deliver quality job within the stipulated project time.
Also speaking, the Rector of Saint John Bosco Seminary School, Obosi, Rev. Fr. Nchedom Chinazo said that they always encountered severe difficulty whenever it rained as flood waters always submerged the entire area.
Rev. Fr Chinazo appealed to the State Government to ensure that the contractor build the flood channels in a manner that all the flood waters in the area would be conveniently collected and emptied into the Idemili River without any harm to human and material resources.
A press statement from the Head, Public Relations/Media, Ministry of Environment, Awka, Mr. Emmanuel Ifesinachi, said that machinery had been put in place to monitor and ensure that quality materials were used to ensure that standard and acceptable erosion control projects were delivered within the agreed contract period.
On the other hand, the Nigeria Metrological Institute (NiMET) has identified Anambra State as one of the states that may experience flooding this year.
On the heels of their findings, the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has counseled communities in flood-prone local governments of the state to be on the alert to take necessary actions in case of emergency that may result from this year’s rains.
The Executive Secretary of SEMA and former Secretary to Anambra State Government, Paul Odenigbo identified 10 local government areas mostly from the northern parts of the state as those most prone to flood disaster this year.
He said SEMA has so far carried out sensitisation of the people in the areas to counsel them to be prepared for eventual flood menace.
“We have advised people living in flood-prone areas and communities to begin now to put their essentials together so that if the need arises that they should leave their homes, they have things that will last them for two to four days before they can settle in the camp and government now comes in.
“For those living in urban areas, please do not block the drainage because by doing so, you are blocking the water channels because you are blocking the waterway.
“If you block it, water must find its way and cause havoc. So, I am appealing to our people, don't block the drainage, don’t block the water channels, don't dump refuse in gutters, don't build on water channels, don’t do anything that will obstruct the normal water flow because it will cause serious havoc.”
•Photo shows Gov. Obiano
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