Ogun State government on Monday advised residents living in flood prone areas to relocate to safer places in order to escape from the flood expected between now and October ending.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, who gave the advice, while briefing newsmen in Abeokuta on the efforts of the state government against the perennial flooding in the state.
Abudu-Balogun said the advice to the residents living on flood plains across the state to relocate to higher grounds, had become imperative in the face of the flood alert issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), which listed Ogun as one of the states prone to serious flooding between September and October.
The Commissioner added that four local government areas which include Abeokuta South, Ifo, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside, had been identified as critical locations prone to flooding according to the NiMET forecast, emphasising that residents living along canals and river courses must relocate to forestall loss of lives and property.
He said apart from the four critical local governments, some areas in Abeokuta North, Yewa South, Ado-Odo/Ota, Obafemi-Owode, Ijebu Ode and Sagamu LGs, have identified by the state government where residents should move away from temporarily.
Speaking on the efforts of the state government in combating the impending flood, Abudu-Balogun disclosed that rivers and canals in the state had been dredged to allow free flow of water whenever there is rain.
“As we speak, we have completed the dredging of all the identified rivers to about 80%, remaining only about two locations, which will be completed in the next one or two weeks”, Abudu-Balogun said.
Aside from dredging of rivers and clearing of canals, the state had embarked on deslting of drainages, gutters and water ways throughout the state.
Abudu-Balogun said, “the effect of human activities, that is building on waterways and indiscriminate dumping of refuse inside stream and rivers are factors responsible for flooding
He said, “our people are fond of dumping refuse in drainages, water ways, and water course.”
“Our people should desist from building on water ways. If our people don’t cooperate with government through their action and inactions, no matter the efforts of government, we will continue to have problems.
Government would not allow illegality. As a government, we are going to take decisive steps to ensure that residents comply with environmental laws,” he said.