Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi
By Toba Suleiman
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has raised the alarm that about 78 residential houses, churches and bakeries situated on a water channel in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital maybe washed away by the next flooding incident if urgent actions are not taken to rescue the affected buildings.
The Agency raised the alarm, at the weekend, shortly after an assessment tour of the major areas affected by the flooding which wrecked havoc in the capital city on Friday morning.
Some of the affected areas visited by the NEMA officials include Ajowa-Dalemo, Omisanjana, Moferere, and Iworoko areas of the state capital.
It would be recalled that during the early morning down pour which occurred between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday morning, several houses were affected, while properties worth several millions of naira were destroyed.
Fielding questions from journalists, the NEMA Assistant Zonal Coordinator for the South-west, Mr. Adebiyi Babatunde, said there was the need for the state government to take a proactive action on how to rescue the people in the area.
According to him, some of the structures on the water lodged areas were residential buildings, Churches, schools, block industries fish ponds among others, with an average of four flats and nine people per house hold.
The NEMA coordinator, who noted that some of those buildings were erected on an area prone to flood along water channel, warned that if the people in the area refused to shift base from the flooded area to a safer place, there was the tendency for them to be affected should there be another torrential rainfall in the nearest future.
He, however, suggested that if the attempt to shift base could be difficult urgently, the state government should immediately come to their rescue through channelisation or dredging the river in the area.
While blaming the people for some of the flooding, Babatunde expressed displeasure on the attitude of the people about how they disposed their refuse on the drainage.
According to him, in some of the areas visited, it was glaring that people were blocking the passage of the water through indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said, actually caused the water to overflow its banks thereby leading to flooding.
He warned the people to be extremely cautioned on the way to dump refuse indiscriminately on water ways, saying if this should continue more flooding is expected, which he said could be devastating.
He said having assessed the impact of the flooding in the area, the Federal Government would come to the aid of the people by providing them with financial assistance through the Agency.