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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ogun state government advises residents in wetlands to move

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The Ogun State government, on Tuesday, urged residents in wetland areas to relocate to safer ground before the rain commences fully.

According to the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the rain, which had commenced in March, would end in December.

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The agencies stated that the rain would have an average rainy period of 239 days, an average precipitation of 1786.5mm, and would affect 16 out of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The state Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya, made this known during the Year 2024 Ogun State Flood Alert in conjunction with the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) held at the Olusegun Osoba Press Centre, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Mr Oresanya disclosed that local government areas such as Imeko-Afon, Odeda, Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South would experience the lowest rainfall.

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While noting that people located in the hilly areas were going to experience erosion as a result of the speed of the water, he called for calm as the state government was putting measures in place to cushion the effects of the expected heavy rainfall.

“It is either you relocate from the area or you elevate; you may want to reconstruct your house or do some kind of elevation if you must stay in that area. Every year, we talk about relocation. It is not easy to relocate. If you must live in those areas, make sure that your electronics, your chairs, and whatever can be damaged are being elevated.

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“When we talk about relocation and elevation, it is going to be predominantly around this area. People living within the wetlands of the state are supposed to prepare for this increase in the height of the water because we are going to have retention around this period.

“So, people located in the hill areas are going to have some kind of erosion because of the speed the water will take in running down around the Ilaro area and some areas in Ota. We are going to have erosion accompanying the flooding this year,” he said.

Mr Oresanya noted that the wetland areas of the state were predominantly in the Southern parts, describing them as “almost flat land and low line land.”

Most of the wetland areas, according to the commissioner, were border towns between Lagos and Ogun States.

Mr Oresanya also said that the state government was set to complement its efforts at addressing the menace of flooding with the construction of 2,975.6m length of drainage channels and mini-bridges/culverts, and the desilting and clearing of 56.159m length of river/stream courses and 40,000m length of drainage channels across the three senatorial districts.

“Some of these interventions include construction of drainage channels and culverts at Wesley Primary School, Ijebu-Ode; reconstruction of dilapidated culvert at Saje Dumpsite road; Apakila (Abeokuta); Igbosoro (Ogijo, Sagamu), Imasai; desilting of rivers/stream courses at Yemile (Ijebu-Ode); Sensen river (Sagamu), Onibuku (Ota); Odo-funfun (Oja-Odan), Opa Aro (Isheri), Sokori river and tributaries while desilting of drainage channels will take place in Abeokuta, Ifo, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ilaro, and Ota, among others,” he said.

The commissioner recalled that the length of the rainy season for the coastal areas ranged between 250 to 292 days while that of inland areas was between 200 to 250 days.

He encouraged farmers to start planting. He urged fish farmers to harvest before the peak of the rainy season in July. He advised poultry farmers against stocking density during the period, which started two months ago.

Mr Oresanya also called on residents to apply for ‘drainage permits’ before constructing their drains.

READ ALSO: Governor Ododo seeks FG’s help to tackle insecurity, flooding in Kogi

This, he said, would ensure that drainages had the right elevation for the passage of water.

The drainage permit, he added, would guide residents against building on flood plains and wetlands unknowingly during the dry season.

In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA), Olufemi Odumosu said that the agency has been holistic while focusing on the structural measures for flood control.

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