By Shina Abubakar
Residents of Ibu-Amo community in Osogbo, Osun State capital has called on the state government to rescue the community from erosion threatening their habitat.
The community spokesperson, Moses Badmus, while speaking with newsmen after inspecting damages in the area, disclosed that waste generated by businesses located in the popular Osun mall has created erosion in the community due lack of proper drainage leading to flood several times in the community.
“The flooding that we have experienced in less than two years had destroyed property worth about N20 million. Many drug stores, fashion designer shops as well as groceries stores, churches, mosques including residential buildings were damaged by flooding.
“There is no proper culvert that will take water out of the premises of Osun Mall and whenever there is rainfall, large volume of water escaping from the premises of the Mall will flood our community.
“We contacted business owners operating in the premises, but they directed us to the state government, who they said owns the structure. Then through our lawyer, we wrote Osun state government through the Ministry of Environment, stating our ordeal whenever there is rainfall, yet nothing concrete was done on the matter. We don’t want to lose life before action would be taken,” Badmus said.
However, the state Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Sanitation, Mr Rufus Oyegbile said the Ministry is concerned with issues of erosion and flooding with a view to ensuring safety of lives a s property of citizenry.
“As far as the ministry of Environment is concerned, especially my own department which deals with erosion and flood control, we have never had official letter from the community complaining about erosion or flooding around Osun Mall. I know the area, a drainage use to exist there before now.
“But if the issue of commercial activities of construction method that was employed in the construction of Osun Mall brings about flooding. It is the responsibility of the owner of Osun Mall to make sure that there is proper channelization. We won’t wait for the complainant to come. I will direct my staff to go there immediately and see what is happening in the area. It is the responsibility of the government to protect life and property”, he said