Group warns against blocking Ogunpa River channel

EnviroNews Advocacy & Campaigns for Sustainability has urged residents of Ibadan in Oyo State to prevent the outbreak of another flood disaster in the city by stopping the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the Ogunpa River channel.

The group, during a campaign tour in Ibadan, decried the transformation of the Ogunpa River channelisation into a waste dump and the encroachment into allowable setbacks.

He claimed that such practices posed risks to Ibadan and Oyo State as a whole.

Led by its Executive Director, Michael Simire, and Head Of The Legal Department, Yomi Ogunlola, the group said efforts must be made to stop a repeat of the flood disasters of 1960, 1963, 1978, 1980, and 2011 in the city, which claimed many lives and destroyed properties worth billions of naira.

Simire said, “We are deeply concerned about the Ogunpa channelisation issue. We set out today to do some campaigns; to advocate and talk to the leaders and the people. We started with the office of the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola and he acknowledged receiving our letter (petition) and said that the ministry was working on the issue. We went to the State House of Assembly, Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, Ogunpa Channelisation Project, 32FM, Splash FM, and Fresh FM.

 “We talked to the market women, and they appreciated our efforts but said that they do not have a place to dispose of their refuse, so they turned the channel into a waste dump. We suggested to them that they could, as a group, collaborate with the waste management authority, local government, or waste management consultants.

“They acknowledged that the dumping of refuse in the channel might result in another disaster because the drainage channel is being blocked gradually and when water comes, it will find its way.”

In an interview with The PUNCH, the Oyo State Commissioner for Environment, Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, disclosed that works were ongoing concerning the issue raised by the advocacy group.

He said, “I have met with them and we got the petition as well.  So, we are doing something about it, we have plans to commence before the rainy season begins.”

Earlier, in a petition forwarded to the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, the group called on the state government to stop the illegal dumping of refuse in the Ogunpa River channel and put in place measures to ensure that the incident will never re-emerge in the future.

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