- Proffer Solutions To Future Occurrences
By Sola Jacobs
The flood disaster that recently ravaged some areas in Ile-Ife, State of Osun and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira has been attributed to poor attitude to the environment and lack of enforcement of relevant environmental laws.
While residents were blamed for carelessness in the way they manage their environment through dumping of refuse on waterways, the authorities were blamed for not enforcing the relevant laws.
Dr Adeola Adesina, an Urban Planner and Environmentalist said, building of structures, dumping of refuse on waterways and sand dredging activities were some of the major causes of the disaster.
In an interactive session with OSUN DEFENDER, the Urban planner decried the careless attitudes of individuals which affect the environment in general.
Describing the topography of the town and its environment which was surrounded by streams, he said, “aside Esinmirin and Opa streams, it is bordered in the Northern side by Shasha and Owena River in the South”.
“Considering the adjoining streams like Agbara, Omi-Okun, and Odo-Okun, there is need for people to be educated about their terrain so as not to build on water plains in areas like, Mayfair, Aladanla and Ede road.
“Most of the areas affected are flood-prone areas, which are only good for agricultural purposes, rather than residential.
Dr Adesina stated that sand-dredging around Oduduwa, Ajebamidele, Moremi Housing Estate, Kojumole and Oluwatedo had obstructed the water-level and contributed to the flooding in the city.
“The unregulated activities of sand and gravel miners should be checked in those areas”, he said.
Also, the chairman, Erosion Control and Maintenance, a Non-governmental Organisation, Mallam Murtala Orabiyi regretted that inspite the efforts of the state government to prevent flooding, some individuals have refused to change their attitude towards the environment.
He stated further that various interventions of the government, such as constitution of environmental stakeholders, introduction of O’Clean Marshall, Market and Establishment Sanitation, and the introduction of waste disposal vehicles and Private Partnership Participation are commendable.
He however carpeted some residents in the state for indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways, despite the huge resources committed to waste disposal and management by government.
Orabiyi however noted that town planners in the local governments must wake up to their duties, saying there are some unregulated building activities.
He said: “There is need for approving building plans before construction to mitigate flooding in the state. There is need for enforcement of building and sanitation laws across the state to enforce compliance”.
However, OSUN DEFENDER findings in Osogbo, the state capital revealed that areas prone to flooding in the past, such as Rasco and Gbomi areas are now free of flooding, a development that could not be separated from the construction of concrete water drainages, couple with the compliance of residents to environmental laws.
Residents in other cities of the state have however solicited similar interventions, to prevent loss of lives and properties to flooding.
It would be recalled that barely two weeks ago, houses were submerged in Mayfair, Damico, Aserifa, Aladanla, Oduduwa, Ajebamidele, Moremi Housing Estate, Kojumole and Oluwatedo, all in Ile-Ife.