By Festus Ahon & Godwin Oghre
ASABA—WORRIED by the havoc flood was causing in parts of Delta State, the state government has, again, warned those leaving in flood-prone areas to move to higher and safer grounds.
The state’s Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy, who gave the warning after taking officials of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on assessment tour of areas affected by flood in Asaba and its environs, restated the state government’s commitment towards tackling the menace of perennial flooding.
Meanwhile, residents in the hitherto over-flooded Sapele and environs, have expressed relief as government’s tractors penetrated waterways in the area, opening them up and channelling the flood into nearby creeks.
A resident of Ogberikoko axis, Dr. Prince Oromokpaye, said: “Residents across party divides are applauding the efforts by the state government, which ensured that flooding that had forced them to relocate from their homes is being checkmated.
“All the waterways are being opened up with government tractors and the flood is being channelled to the creeks.”
On government’s warning to residents to relocate from flood-prone areas, the Commissioner who was accompanied by the Director of State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mrs. Gladys Puegeren, and top management staff of the Bureau, described the disaster as unfortunate.
He assured that the state government will, in collaboration with NEMA, assist to cushion the effect of the natural disaster, advising victims of the disaster to keep faith with government.
Enjoining Deltans to always clear their drainage, he urged the residents to stop erecting structures without an approved building plan.
Speaking after the tour, NEMA’s Head of operations in charge of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states, Mr. Walson Brandon, said they will send their report to the national headquarters of NEMA in Abuja for necessary action.
On efforts by the state government to address flood problems in Sapele and its environs, the Commissioner for Environment, Chief John Nani, who consistently defiled downpours to supervise the operations, said: “It will be recalled that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had promised to address the problem.
“Last year, the exercise took place in Sapele, Uvewie, Warri, Ughelli, Agbarho and Uzere. The state government, through the Ministry of Environment, deployed a total of 10 swamp buggies to do the de-flooding of these areas.
“Government has deployed four swamp buggies to the area, channelling flood through urban areas to Omiemedi, Owumi, Mission Road, Uko, Oton and from Adeola Junction/Sapele Clinic by New Road to Ojolu, Urhwa-kpa and Oton creeks.”