Posted by News Express | 29 July 2017 | 3,298 times
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has identified poor town planning as the major cause of flooding in the Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, and its environs.
Mr. Alagoa Morris, Head of ERA/FoEN’s field operations in Bayelsa, said in a field report on Friday that the NGO arrived at the conclusion following series of field trips and empirical observations
Morris noted that unplanned development and lack of proper drainage system have led to massive flooding of the Yenagoa environment.
He said that the observation followed several days of heavy downpour resulting to severe flooding that ravaged the state capital, sacking homes and offices and rendering hundreds of residents stranded.
Investigations in Yenagoa in the past week indicated that several natural water channels around the state capital and its environs have been blocked due to developmental activities of government, companies and individuals.
ERA/FoEN said that the Bayelsa Government must make environmental impact assessment (EIA) a top priority in development projects, especially in construction of roads, housing estates, dredging and markets, among others.
It urged the government to collaborate with the Yenagoa Local Government Council and other stakeholders to take proper inventory of all natural water courses with a view to making them attractive to tourists.
The environmental rights group also called on the government to construct more drainages in Yenagoa, linking each with the other to form an effective drainage system to evacuate rain floods.
According to Morris, “The State Government should ensure all roads, streets and estate drainage take water away from the immediate environment to identified and intended destinations.
“The State Government should ensure that the Epie Creek, which runs through the entire length of Yenagoa, is cleared of all debris.
“The government should also deepen the Epie Creek creeks to make it more navigable along with the upgrade of other natural water channels and major drainages or trunk lines emptying into the Epie Creek.
“The state government should provide more refuse receptacles in neighbourhoods to prevent residents from emptying refuse into natural water channels.
“Also, efforts should be made to regularly sensitise residents using the mass media on the negative environmental impacts of dumping refuse in water courses,” Morris said.
ERA/FoEN further advocated that individuals and groups found guilty of obstructing natural water channels be penalised to serve as a deterrent to others.
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