The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has enjoined the Oyo State Government to be decisive in tackling age-long perennial flooding in the ancient city of Ibadan by removing all risk factors that aid the disasters yearly.
The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, made the call in a speech at the Flood Prevention and Mitigation Workshop organized by the Agency in Ibadan on Tuesday. He pointed out that erection of structures in flood plains and obstruction of natural paths of rain water are the lead factors of flooding in Ibadan.
The Director General, who was represented by the South West Assistant Coordinator of the Agency, Babatunde Adebiyi, acknowledged the efforts of the State Government at reconstruction and rehabilitations of canals, extension of drainages and bridges. While acknowledging the capital-intensive measures taken so far, he said that building people’s resilience against identifiable disaster risks is the best legacy that a leader can bequeath to his people.
According to Sani-Sidi, “That disaster resilient people can conveniently tackle poverty that forces them to resort in looking for cheaper land at flood plains and the risks of losses during disasters which can never be recovered can be eliminated with flourishing economic and social development as immediate outcome of government investment while government would have more focus toward stability and virile environment to developmental programmes without the fear of disaster sweeping off the gains of government efforts.”
The NEMA boss therefore called on the government to take decisive steps to remove the over 26,000 structures that are a major strain in flood-free environment in the state.