Ondo moves to avert flooding
By Kemi Olatunde
To avert imminent flooding in the state, Ondo State Ministry of Environment is set to channelise high risk areas and open major rivers for easy passage of water.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry. Mr Temitayo Adeniyi who gave this hint said measures are being put in place to improve channelisation of high risk areas in order to prevent major flooding in the state.
Adeniyi made this known in Akure while speaking with The Hope on the ministry’s preparedness against flooding.
Noting that illegal dumping of waste into canals prevent the free flow of water which in turn gives room to flooding, he said: “when you don’t have waste in the rivers, water flows in its natural ourse.”
He disclosed that government through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has taken steps to prevent people from building houses along river banks.
Speaking further, he noted that the people along river banks are being sensitised on the need to observe the right set-back so as to allow for easy flow of water in the rivers.
He said; “Dumping of refuse into the rivers is prohibited and we are enforcing that we are engaging in aggressive campaign against it to prevent flooding.”
Also speaking with The Hope, Director of Ecology in the Ministry, Mr Olumide Kings identified indiscriminate solid waste disposal, wilful blockage of flood prone streams and river courses, disrespect to town/urban planning rules and regulations, inadequate maintenance of existing flood control structures, release of water from dams as well as building on streams and river set-backs as major causes of flooding all over the world.
While speaking extensively on measures to prevent flood, he stressed the need for people to avoid building in flood plains, saying “unless you elevate and reinforce your building.”
He noted that it is also important to elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel if susceptible to flooding and added that people should put dangerous, flammable or explosive liquids in safe place and close containers.
According to him,”install ‘check valves’ in server taps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains. Construct barriers levees, beams, flood walls to stop flood water from entering the building. Seal walls in basement with water proofing compounds to avoid seepage.”
While describing flood as the inundation of land or property in an environment that is normally dry by water, Kings noted that flooding remains one of the most persistent natural disasters throughout the world saying “it causes billions of dollars damage to homes and property and in some cases loss of lives.”
To prevent more future flooding, he stressed the need for the introduction of better flood warning systems saying “advance warning and pre-planning can significantly reduce the impact of flooding.”
He also called for the modification of buildings to withstand floods, construction of buildings above flood levels, increased spending on flooding defences as well as the restoration of rivers to their natural courses.