New Amphibious Excavator ’ll help to combat flooding
By Kemi Olatunde & Adekola Afolabi
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has said the newly acquired Malan Amphibious Excavator CAT 320D2, Swamp Buggy will put an end to the perennial flooding challenges faced in various parts of the state capital.
He declared this at the commissioning of the machine in Akure.
Akeredolu stated that the Amphibious Excavator (CAT 320D2) was a latest model and would be purposely used for dredging and clearing of waterways, and also for temporary channelisation of rivers across the state.
He noted that the equipment was needed to address the challenges usually posed by flooding in various parts of the state, especially during the rainy season, just as he cautioned residents of the state to desist from building structures along waterways and throwing their wastes into the drainage system.
The governor observed that flooding often leads to loss of lives and property and negatively affects movement during the rainy season, with high incidence in Akure, Owo, Ondo, Ikare, Ore, Igbokoda, Okitipupa and other urban centers, all “with dire implications on the socio – economic activities of the people.”
The Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) had earlier forecast intensive rains across the state this year with its attendant flooding.
Akeredolu who revealed that due to its geographical location, Ondo State is prone to flooding in the rainy season, however, expressed confidence that with the acquisition of the new Amphibious Excavator, the problems of perennial flooding would be a thing of the past in the state.
The Governor said it became imperative to procure the Amphibious Excavator following the need to replace the old and faulty one acquired in 2015, which was no longer in good working condition to tackle the challenges being faced in the state.
He insisted that it is necessary for the state to get prepared, in view of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) forecast of intensive rains across the state this year.
Akeredolu particularly lauded the Chief Executive Officer of ZL Global Alliance, Dr. Abiola Bashorun for her important role and good partnership aimed at tackling environmental challenges in the state.
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Environment, Mr Funso Esan who noted that the state has been listed among the states to be affected by flooding in Nigeria this year, commended the governor for his investment on the equipment.
While lamenting the large number of citizens who are being affected by flooding in the state, he stated that he receives not less than 10 save our souls letters in recent times on daily basis and lauded the governor’s gesture which according to him ameliorate flooding in the state.
He assured the governor that the equipment will be judiciously used and appropriately maintained for the benefit of the state.
In his goodwill message, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Olapeju Foundation, Idoani, Asiwaju Dele Olapeju while commending the governor for the achievement despite paucity of fund, noted that flooding in the state will become history with the procurement of the swamp buggy.
However, he stressed the need for maintenance culture as regards the use of the equipment.
In an interview with The Hope, Group Managing Director, ZL Global Alliance, Dr. Biola Bashorun noted that three out of the five states where the organisation operates, is affected by flooding adding that Ondo state is the only state that has procured the multipurpose dredger which according to her will reduce to the bearest minimum.