The Edo State Government has strengthened partnership with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Projects (NEWMAP) and communities across the state to check indiscriminate waste disposal which leads to erosion and flooding.
Speaking to community leaders and residents during a town hall meeting in Benin City, Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpaku, said government is committed to protecting lives and property in Edo State, which informed the decision to prioritise environmental management.
She said improper waste disposal causes debris to build up along waterways, noting, “We called this town hall meeting for the people to collectively give us their mandate to go ahead to remove illegal structures obstructing waterways causing flooding in our communities.”
She said drastic measures would be embraced to check indiscriminate waste disposal, noting that government will help communities hire vigilante to check illegal waste disposal at night and anyone caught will be prosecuted.
“Government doesn’t have much money to continue to spend on erosion but rather will address the cause. All Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and communities have been put on notice to join hands with Edo State Government and the Ministry of Environment to check this trend”.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Erimona Edorodion, said erection of illegal structures results in erosion and flooding in the state.
He called on the people to adhere to building regulations set by the Ministry, adding “We call on community leaders to ensure they have a layout before selling their lands to developers as it will ensure houses are properly built”.
Edo State Project Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Projects (NEWMAP), Engr. John Olukunle Adisa, said Edo State is among the 30 states that applied for the World Bank Erosion Control grant and Edo State and six others got the grant because it pays counterpart fund.
He said NEWMAP has helped in tackling gully erosion in Ekehuan, Queen Ede, Auchi and Ewu, among other areas.
The General Manager of Edo State Waste Management Board, Mr. Charles Imariagbe, called on residents not to block the drains with debris, noting, “Waste should be properly managed. Residents should do this through accredited waste managers to ensure the state is clean.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Hon. Yakubu Gowon, said the state government is already providing solutions to the erosion problems in the state. He added that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Developments is already demolishing illegal structures blocking the drains in the state.