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Special Report: Reducing the risk of flood disaster through effective drainage maintenance, town planning

Over the years, Nigerian States have suffer greatly from excess waters that emerge whenever it rains. Rain, which suppose to be a blessing to mankind has actually brought serious calamities to many homes – lost of lives and property.

Many will say flood is among identified natural disasters, but it can be controlled or managed to reduce it’s devastating consequences on the populace by any sensitive government especially in those areas where it is becoming regular occurrence.

In Nigeria, states like Benue, Enugu, Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun among others have experienced this disaster repeatedly over the years.

So, developing a roadmap targeted at maintaining and rehabilitating roads as well as comprehensive drains system will go a long way to address the issue.

Though Kaduna State government under the present administration of All Progressives Congress (APC) is beaming its searchlight towards this area. But it has not really make commensurate impact especially in the area of drainage system which it started but abandoned at the wake of raining season.

Already, this is causing many residents of the state serious headache. While some that can be patient enough are doing that, others who cannot have started covering up the excavated but abandoned drains in front of their houses which is invitation to flood.

However, Lagos State Government on Sunday unveiled its roadmap targeted at maintaining and rehabilitating roads across the State as well as comprehensive drainage maintenance and flood control programme between August and December 2017.

Recently appointed Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Public Works and Drainages, Engr Temidayo Erinle, who reeled out the roadmap at a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, said in the coming days, the State Government, through the Public Works Corporation, would carry out rehabilitation works on 43 major link roads across the State, while other major highways and arterial roads found to be in bad state would be fixed.

Erinle said the State Government was well aware of the challenges being experienced by commuters on Lagos roads, and that Governor Ambode had already repositioned the Corporation to comprehensively address the issues relating to potholes and drainages in the State. He said: “As you are all aware, we are presently in the rainy season, as such much cannot be done during this period.

“However, we are currently carrying out palliative works on our major roads through the application of boulders, crushed stones and other construction materials to address the potholes problems in order not to paralyze the economic activities of the State”.

This of course, worth emulating by other states government.

Sometimes ago, Kaduna State government through Zoom Lion Global Alliance, a consultancy firm desilted Kaduna rivers to ease free flow of water into River Kaduna.

That was done but the drainage system that would serve as pocket carrier is poor as the project been halted over dwindling economy as claimed by the state government.

While desilting of primary channels and outfalls is commendable, clearing/cleaning of collector and tertiary (street) drains should be giving a top priority and if possible master plans should be developed.

As August rain begins, government, corporate organizations and individuals should play their roles to see how they can collectively address the pains and losses known with flood over time.

Residents should also avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drains while contracted evacuators should be up and doing. A stitch in time they say, saves nine.

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