Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has sympathised with victims of the flood disaster which occurred recently in Abeokuta metropolis, promising of government intervention to alleviate the plight of the affected people .
Amosun, in company of his wife, Olufunso, Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga and cabinet members, during an assessment visit to Ijeja, Gbangba bridge, Itoku market, Kuto, Isabo and Lafenwa areas, warned against indiscriminate building of houses along water channels, as well as dumping of refuse in drainages, saying blocked drainages has contributed to the flooding.
While commiserating with those who lost their loved ones to the tragedy, the Governor prayed God to comfort them and grant them the fortitude to bear the losses, assuring of government’s commitment to intervene and cushion the effect of those who lost valuables in the incidence.
The Governor noted that the damage would have been more devastating but for the massive drainages constructed alongside various road projects put in place by his administration, saying government would be more proactive to avert future re-occurrence.
Meanwhile the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye, while leading the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to the areas, says data gathered from the assessment would be used to provide relief for those affected by the flood, describing the incident as flash flood.
He said government would immediately begin enforcement of the required setbacks along the river courses, adding that channelization of river courses would also be improved upon to forestall future re-occurrence.
‘’The incident is an unfortunate one and we sincerely commiserate with those affected for their losses. From our assessment, we discovered the impact of the flood was felt more by houses that bordered river courses. We will continue to sensitize residents not to build on waterways and also observe the required setbacks and improve on channelization’’, he said.
The Commissioner advised residents to relocate to safer grounds whenever the volume of water bodies rise to a fearsome level, as their lives should be considered more important than their properties.
On his part, the Assistant Chief Planning Officer, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) South-West Zone, Mr. Babatunde Olowokere, said his agency would collaborate with the State to provide relief materials to the victims of the flood, advising residents to refrain from dumping waste in drainages, canal and river courses to prevent future re-occurrence.