To mitigate the effect of flooding already devasting some part of Delta State, the State Government, has commenced demolition of buildings erected along waterways and causing flooding across the state in line with Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s directive.
The demolition exercise started on Monday August 7th 2023, with the pulling down of parts of three buildings, including a yet-to-be-completed church structure and a storey building at Ugboroke, in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
The demolished parts of the buildings were occupying waterways believed to be responsible for the annual flooding of houses in the area.
Director-General, Special Duties, Governor’s Office, Asaba, Mr Frank Omare, led the amphibious swam buggy to the area, amid security protection from soldiers drafted from the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun.
The demolition and dredging exercise, which started at Uvwie Local Government Area will move to Warri, Warri South Local Government Area, Udu, Ughelli and other flood-prone parts of the state.
Speaking to journalists during the demolition exercise at Ugboroke, Mr Omare, who had done similar job as Commissioner for Environment during the administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, said he would follow the mandate given to him without discrimination, adding that seven heavy equipment are at work.
“One of the mandates given to me is to remove illegal structures all over the state; in every local government area. And this is just the beginning and we’ve given them over two months to ensure that those who had built on natural water ways remove their buildings, those who do not have approval plans they should remove their buildings. And they’ve deliberately refused.
“In Hgboroke, Uvwie Local Government Area, if there’s rain for 10 minutes, everywhere will be flooded. The place is under water and we cannot continue to allow it.
“We’re not here for individual interest but the general interest. We will not compromise.
“No sentiments. The falling away of the yellow leave is a warning to the green one. We’ve started and we’re continuing. Times are hard, things are rough, but we must do the right thing.
“The law is law. We have about seven equipment scattered across Warri South and Uvwie local government areas. When we’re done, we’d move to other local government. It’s a warning to others.
“Nobody’s building will be spared no matter who is involved. We will not compromise. This is the way to go. Forty per cent houses here have no soak-away system. Five metres to the drainage, the roads and canals must be adhered to.
“Ministry of land and survey urban renewal are all with me to ensure things are done properly. We’re going to be very bold, and we’re bold, we’re going to be very focused and we’re focused and we’re going to ensure that nobody is victimised. We’re paying so much money to carry out this exercise.
“Government bears the cost of all logistics to bring back sanity. Oborevwori is a street man. He knows the streets. We’re ready for those who are ready for trouble. This is a warning to others.
“Any building that has approval please bring them. Whether they’re wrongly approved, we’ll take responsibility. That’s why the ministries in charge are here. They’d tell me how they approved buildings build on waterways,” he noted.
Meanwhile, one of the residents, whose father’s building was affected, David Adu, expressed happiness that the annual flooding in the area will subside with the demolition and dredging of the canal.
“I’m happy the demolition is ongoing even though my father’s house is affected. I only ask they allow us remove our items from the building before total demolition. They should ensure they strictly follow the master plan by bringing back the canal and roads encroached on by builders,” he charged.