By Abuchi Onwumelu
Anambra State Government is determined to sustain various intervention measures aimed at mitigating effects of flooding in the riverine areas of the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr Michael Okonkwo said this in Onitsha during dumpsite monitoring and inspection of de-silting works at strategic locations within Onitsha and its environs.
Mr Okonkwo said the inspection was partly in commemoration of World Clean-up Day and also in tandem with the vision and mission of Gov. Willie Obiano administration in providing Ndi Anambra with safe, clean and healthy environment.
While describing flooding as inevitable natural disaster, he commended the present administration’s commitment toward ensuring that the state was prepared to tackle challenges arising from the menace.
He mentioned various intervention measures being put together by the government to check flooding to include de-silting of blocked drainages in the state and removal of illegal structures.
According to him, other measures include sensitisation of flood- prone communities through combined efforts of SEMA and NEMA to forewarn and prepare concerned communities for the inevitable.
The commissioner, then, re-stated that the state government had set up not less than 28 holding centres for displaced persons across the state, where people could stay temporarily pending when the flood would recede.
‘World Bank has also established early warning system through NEWMAP in order to prepare the people for impending dangers,’’ he added.
While reiterating the importance of ridding water channels of blockages, he commended effort of some volunteers who assisted the government to tackle issues arising from flooding challenges.
The commissioner and his entourage also inspected Iweka Road and Main Market Roundabout, where illegal posters and stickers were removed.
At the Nkwelle-Ezunaka dumpsite, Okonkwo decried indiscriminate dumping of refuse on road sides by contractors, thereby cutting off the access roads.
He directed the contractor to stop further dumping of wastes at the site and ensure that blocked road was cleared with immediate effect.
‘It is quite unfortunate that the contractor in charge of the Nkwelle-Ezunaka dumpsite has turned the access road into a dumpsite; this is unacceptable.
‘I thereby shut down this dumpsite and direct that all wastes be diverted to Owelle dumpsite while erring contractor rectifies the menace with immediate effect,’ Okonkwo said.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Mr Stanley Nkwoka stressed the need to cultivate proper waste management method that meets up with expectations of the present administration.