Emmanuel Ani, Ado-Ekiti
Residents who dump refuse in, erect buildings on or violate the free flow of waterways in Ekiti State by any means may begin to get into trouble henceforth, as the State House of Assembly has taken a proactive step to forestall impending flood in the state.
This development arose out of a resolution of the Assembly adopted at plenary on the floor of the chamber in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, on Tuesday.
The resolution, according to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Speaker, Stephen Gbadamosi, was made after members’ contribution to a motion raised under matter of urgent public importance by the chairman, House Committee on Information, Chief Olugboyega Aribisogan.
Speaker of the House, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, while highlighting the points of the unanimous resolution of the Assembly, said “that residents of the state should henceforth desist from dumping refuse in drainages and other waterways,” adding that government would also not take it lightly with “those who dump their sand and granites in drainages during building constructions.”
Maintaining that it remained an offence for anyone to erect building on waterways, the House mandated the Ministry of Lands and Housing, “through the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, to ensure they visit building sites before plans are approved, so as to prevent approval of buildings on waterways and other illegal places.”
“Also, the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Information, all the 16 local government chairmen and other relevant government agencies should begin aggressive sensitization on the need and ways of preventing the impending flood disaster in the state,” Oluwawole said.
Aribisogan and other members who contributed to the motion, including the House Leader, Olatunji Akinyele; Ekundayo Akinleye, Fajana Ojo Ade and Sunday Akinniyi, agreed that the people of the state had the habit of violating water’s right of way, a development that had made the state prone to flood disaster.
They observed that the Ministry of Environment had been doing creditably well, but that it still had to step up its performance, urging the Urban and regional Planning department to also rise to the occasion.
The lawmakers appealed to the people of the state to learn a lesson from the experience of Lagos State where flood destroyed properties worth billions of naira over the weekend after a 17-hour downpour, adding that Ekiti State had begun to experience similar rainfall since last weekend.
Meanwhile, the House, at yesterday plenary, also admitted the report of its Committee on Works and Transport, with a member of the committee, Hon. Badejo Anifowose, who presented it, explaining that, among other things, it advocated for provision of more project monitoring vehicles.