The Delta Government has adopted short and long term approaches to tackle the problem of flooding in Asaba and other parts of the state, an official has said.
In a statement in Asaba on today, Mr. Sam Ijeh, the Media Assistant to the Commissioner for Information, said the government’s action followed the warning by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that 16 states, including Delta, would experience heavy flooding within the year.
Ijeh said part of the short term measures was the opening up and clearing of old canals as well as the construction of new ones in flood prone areas.
“A 10km canal from Mgbalamgba to Iyeti Rivers for onward discharge to River Ase have been created in Isheagu, Aniocha South Local Government Area and another canal created in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area.
“Existing canals in Koko, Agbor, Ughelli, Sapele, Agbarho, Anwai Camp 74, Warri and other towns have been cleared to ensure the free flow of water.
“Also, a regular distillation of drains along Okpanam Road and the core areas, the creation of ‘catch pits’ in strategic locations, particularly the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS), Old Secretariat by Summit Road, Asaba and Airport Vie, off Okpanam Road,” he said.
Ijeh said that the state Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development and the Ministry of Environment were also tackling issues of buildings erected on natural waterways.
He said that the state chapter of Nigeria Society of Engineers was collaborating with state government toward finding a lasting solution to the menace of flooding in the state.
Ijeh said that government had engaged a Storm Water Consultant, Jefcon Consultant, to tackle flooding challenges in Asaba and its environs.
“As a long term measure, the state government in May reviewed the scope and cost of the continuation and completion of the construction of Storm Water Control in Direct Labour Agency Road/Jesus Saves Corridor, Asaba.
“Work on the project will commence immediately the rains subside as advised by the contractor, who opined that some buildings in the area might cave in if it starts work during the rains,” he said.
Ijeh also said the government had embarked on sensitization of the public to warn those living in flood prone areas to move to safer grounds to avoid negative consequences of flooding.
He added that people should desist from throwing refuse into the drains to avoid a repeat of the 2012 experience.
Meanwhile, fears are already heightening as those who live and farm by the Asaba end of the River Niger told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the water level had started rising.
According to Mr. Batholomy Isichei, a farmer, the rising water in the river is forcing people to commence harvesting of the crops, especially potatoes.
He said although the water had not reached a threatening level, there were signs that the water could rise more and as such people should take precaution.