Home Feature Flood Kills 23 Persons, Destroys 71 Houses

Flood Kills 23 Persons, Destroys 71 Houses


The impact of poor roads’ construction and continued flooding, have, in the last six months, created sleepless nights for the people of Delta State, and it has killed no fewer than 23 persons, and destroyed 71 houses, in no fewer than 16 Local Government Areas in the state.

Worse hit, the situation, during the current rainy season, had remained frightening and disturbing to its residents, who also sleep with their two eyes open, especially when it rains. Investigation revealed that the conception and execution of the multi-million drain projects across the state, especially in the flood-prone areas in Asaba, Delta State Capital, Sapele, Ughelli, and the ongoing Effurun/Warri environment storm water control drain projects, was supposed to have earned applause for the state government, led by Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.

But as Deltans, and the business community residing in the state praised Dr Ifeanyi Okowa led government for proffering permanent solutions to the ageless environmental problems rampaging across the flood prone areas of the state, they however, nursed one major fear of inhuman induced environmental problems, which had affected the efficiency and longevity of the drain projects.

According to our respondents, if the non-implemental and enforcement of the existing state environmental sanitation laws by the stakeholders in environmental matters persist, the ongoing projects are currently at the mercy of the illegally dumped filth, littering the streets in Asaba, Effurun, Ekpan, Warri, Agbor, and others. Unfortunately in Asaba, most of the old drains have continued to suffer various degrees of blockage, occasioned by suspected defaulters, who refused to comply with the state sanitation laws by registering with the approved “private sector participants’ (PSPs) for the effective management of their generated filth. Sad enough.

The failure of the stakeholders to effectively handle this simple assignments, dragged the state government into series of avoidable environmental nightmares, which sadly, milk the state government of huge sums of money that would have been channeled to other vital sectors of the state’s economy. Again, the seeming delay in the enforcement or implementation of Delta State sanitation laws by the situation stakeholders, seem to be the primary cause of the persisting violation of the sanitation laws and regulation. The impact of the violation, further investigation revealed, had resulted in the indiscriminate dumping of filth on the roads, streets and environment in Asaba, and environs, Warri and Ughelli, Agbor, Sapele, and other urban areas across the state by defaulters who refused to comply with the sanitation directive. Poor enough, the inability of local governments, and other stakeholders in environmental sanitation matters in the state, to address the sanitation problems staring at them, is giving the members of the public concern.

The presence of decaying waste materials along the major ways in Asaba, along Nnebisi road, Ibusa road, Anwai road, Warri, Sapele, Effurun market road along Ekpan road, and other urban and rural areas, calls for a state of emergency against poor filth management. The filth, allegedly dumped by some defaulters, who refused to register with the approved private waste management agents for the evacuation of their refuse, has given birth to the presence of illegal dump sites littering the environment where some were eroded into the drains and waterways.

The flooding of the coastal plains was as a result of the blockage of many natural waterways, and the loss of riverbeds to the filth, for instance, the Oogodo river in Agbor, the consequence of which has been the loss of lives, and property. Michael Uzor, an environmentalist, blamed the situation on the absence of effective enforcement of the existing sanitation laws by the stakeholders in sanitation in the state. As a result of the impacts of the deplorable environmental situation of the highly populated DLA and its neighbourhoods, allegedly by the presence of heavy-duty trucks in the areas, the residents and motorists are now lamenting, calling on the truck drivers to seek alternative routes. According to them, the constant plying of the affected major roads by the trucks, has constituted series of environmental problems, reportedly caused by the compression of the soft earth roads by the vehicles, which, in the process, destroy the existing natural pore holes, which naturally aid the percolation of water, and thus compound the existing environmental problems in the area.

But the state commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, in a swift reaction, said that a permanent solution to the persistent flooding in Effurun, Warri, Asaba and its environs, will soon become a thing of the past as the “storm water control measure committee”, inaugurated by the Delta State government to study and proffer permanent solution to the issue, has moved to the site.

The 11-man committee, led by the state commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, assured Deltans and the business community residing in the flood prone areas of the readiness of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration to address the perennial environmental problems in the area.  He noted in a meeting involving the members of the committee, made up of professionals in the state Ministry of Environment, led by the commissioner for Environment, Chief John Nani, State Ministry of Lands and Surveys, led by its commissioner, Hon Chika Ossai, the representative of Nigeria Society of Engineers (Warri branch) and host communities, that the committee has appointed a technical committee to carryout field work and report to it every fortnight for work efficiency. According to Augoye, the technical committee, made up of professionals in environmental and engineering matters, especially those who know more about the topography of the affected areas and the causes of the flood water, will operate assiduously to collect vital information for the realisation of the project.

The membership of the committee, who later visited the chairmen of Warri South and Uvwie Local Government Areas and subsequently visited some affected flood prone areas, assured residents of Warri and environs of the readiness of the state government to execute the project to specification and on time, noting that the Asaba Storm Water Project took the state government two years to study and design before mobilising to site. He called for the moral support of the leadership of Warri South Local Government Area, Hon (Dr) Michael Tidi and his Uvwie Local Government Area counterpart, Hon Ramson Tega Onyoyake, especially on security, to pave way for work efficiency.LN


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