By Samuel Edu
The Ondo State Government is fully prepared for any material eventuality to curb flooding in the state.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Sunday Akinwalere gave the assurance in an exclusive interview with The Hope.
Akinwalere noted that the government through the Ministry of Environment has left no stone unturned in order to avert the looming flood as predicted by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet).
NiMet in its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), disclosed that the rainfall onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country.
The NiMet Director-General, Prof. Mansur Bako at the unveiling of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction, noted that “with increase in climate change activities, there will be more floods in the year 2023.”
Reacting to Bako’s prediction, the Commissioner said there is no cause for alarm, stressing that the people of the state has nothing to fear.
“As a matter of fact, God Almighty has always been with us in Ondo State. It is as well necessary to commend the efforts of the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration for all the structures he has put in place to ensure that the state is not affected by flooding as predicted by NiMet just like we did not experience any flooding last year.
“Not that there was no pocket of flooding here and there, but this cannot be compared with the magnitude experienced in other states, the governor has directed that all hands must be on deck and more must be done beyond last year to prevent flooding and he has made fund available to this effect.
“Also, the ministry of environment, saddled with the responsibility of controlling flooding in the Ssate in conjunction with ZL Global Alliance has left no stone unturned in preventing flooding in the state. Their effort was significant in ensuring that the state was not affected by last year’s flood.
Speaking specifically on the efforts of the governor, Akinwalere said “the governor of the State is at its best. “Recently, the governor purchased two Amphibious Excavator in addition to the one the state has before.
“Aside this, the governor is never reluctant to approve fund for the ministry whenever we submit proposal for such.
“On our own part as the ministry saddled with the responsibility of flood control, we are as well in partnership with several other organisations especially on Environmental Impact Assistance (EIA).”
He urged the masses to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, noting that refuse dumping particularly on water channels is the major contributing factor to flooding, stressing that the government has been spending so much in ensuring a clean Ondo State.