Posted by News Express | 4 September 2017 | 1,247 times
To successfully combat flooding which has ravaged Makurdi, the Benue State capital, the state government says it would need the Federal Government to release more ecological funds to it.
The General Manager, Benue Urban Development Board, Richard Agwa said this while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s News@ 10.
With up to 100,000 people displaced and over 2,000 homes ravaged, Agwa believed that more funds from the Federal Government would go a long way in enabling the state government to provide the much-needed relief and prevent recurrence of flood disaster.
He said: “The major drainage channel that we have in Benue is flood-busy. The Phase One was constructed and now we have the Phase Two, which His Excellency (Governor Samuel Ortom) has directed that it should be surveyed.
“We are hoping that we will get grants from the Federal Government. This channel, once it is constructed, will go a long way in assisting us with the situation in Benue in terms of flooding because that is the main basin that empties into River Benue.
“So, if the channel is constructed, most of the water will be collected and taken to River Benue without a problem. It will go a long way if we have any assistance from the Federal Government.”
To bring succor to the affected victims of the flood, President Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately mobilise personnel and resources few days after the flood hit the city, promising that he would closely monitor the situation and would be receiving regular updates on the scale of the disaster.
Agwa noted that the water had receded, but called on the people to desist from dumping refuse inside drainages.
“The water has receded to a very large extent such that most of the people are going back to their various houses.
“The drainage channels have been overwhelmed. So, residents are advised to stop dumping refuse in drainage channels so that we cannot have flash floods again,” he further advised.
Agwa also said that the state government is currently carrying out various measures to address the disaster, some of which is the planned demolition of houses built on water channels.
He said: “Those structures have been marked for demolition sometime ago. I filed a report for the committee which His Excellency has established.
“We are awaiting the Benue Executive Council to consider the report before we go into action. We have about 11 main water channels in Makurdi and those structures are spread across the 11 water channels that we have in Makurdi."
The planned demolition might not take effect immediately as most of the buildings marked for demolition are in water logged areas. Manual demolition of fences obstructing the free flow of water has been done to assuage the situation.
“The vehicles that we will use for the demolition cannot access these places, because of the waterlogged nature. But some of the structures, like fences, have been demolished manually. That is what we are doing right now, to avert further devastation,” Agwa said. (Channels TV)
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