Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
In a bid to avert incidences of flooding in Ekiti State in line with the warning by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), the state government has warned building developers against erecting their structures on waterways and canals.
The government said it has noticed that the preponderance of such habit was largely responsible for the exponential increase in the recurrent cases of flooding and wanton destruction of property in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs. Monisade Afuye, who spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday while distributing cash and relief materials to rainstorm victims in Oke- Ako and Ijesa Isu Ekiti, said the promptness with which the state Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, responded to the victims confirmed how passionate he is to the wellbeing of Ekiti citizens.
Materials distributed at the programme co-financed by the state government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) included roofing planks, corrugated sheets, roofing nails, and consumables like rice, beans, Garri among others.
The deputy governor in a statement issued by his Media Aide, Victor Ogunje, stated that it was flagrantly against the modus operandi of NEMA to present cash to those whose houses were damaged by storm, saying only victims of arson could enjoy such privilege.
Afuye stressed further that only those who had rehabilitated their buildings before the presentation would receive cash, while others will receive relief materials to rebuild their structures.
She urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the materials, while appealing to developers to embrace tree planting and compliance with the urban renewal policies of Ekiti State Government to avert future calamity of this nature.
According to her, “By the coming of rain in the year, some of our people fell victim of rainstorm and floods. Roofs of some buildings were either completely or partially blown off, while some collapsed. Citizens and residents suffered the ugly effects of these natural disasters in varying degrees.
“As a responsible and responsive government, Governor Oyebanji approved fund to purchase relief materials to provide succour to victims of these disasters. It is believed that the distribution will help in ameliorating their sufferings.
“This phase of distribution is targeted at victims of rainstorm in Oke Ako in Ajoni Local Council Development Area and Ijesa Isu in Kajola LCDA.
“May I seize this opportunity to sympathise with the victims, who are the direct beneficiaries of today’s event. I equally advise the citizens of this state to put in place measures that will reduce incidences of flooding and rainstorm in our environment.
“You should avoid building on drainages, and close to streams and rivers. Clear your drainages always and encourage planting of trees to serve as wind breakers. It is often said that prevention is better and cheaper than cure.”
Addressing the beneficiaries, the General Manager, Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Olajide Borode, described the effects of the rainstorm in the two towns as devastating and excruciating.
Borode lauded the federal government and its resolve to partner governments at the subnational levels to palliate the sufferings of the victims, particularly Governor Oyebanji, “whose prompt responses have been source of inspiration to the populace.”