Osun State Government has commenced massive dredging of its rivers and waterways as part of measures to forestall flooding.
The dredging commenced on Friday is Osogbo, the state capital.
Speaking during the inspection of the ongoing dredging on Friday, Governor Gboyega Oyetola said the government will soon set up a task force to ensure citizens of the state dispose their wastes in accordance with the state’s environmental regulations.
Calling on the people of the state to cultivate the habit of proper waste disposal and management, he said the government would not hesitate to deal with whoever dumps refuse indiscriminately.
It would be recalled that the governor and his entourage had last Sunday visited some flooded areas in Osogbo, the state capital to assess the extent of damage caused by flooding. He had on the occasion promised that the government would commence the dredging of the rivers immediately.
He said the decision to dredge all the rivers and waterways across the state was in fulfilment of the administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property of the citizens.
“This exercise is a confirmation of the fact that our administration is concerned about the safety of lives and property of our people.
“My appeal to our people is to do away with indiscriminate dumping of refuse. We must all adhere strictly to proper disposal and management of refuse. This is the only way to keep our rivers and waterways safe from this occurrence.
“What had happened here clearly shows that a lot of refuse were dumped here, causing blockages, affecting the free flow of water which eventually resulted to flooding.
“As a government, we are committed to clean environment and hygienic living and we will stop at nothing to achieving these.
“With what we have seen, we have discovered that some buildings also encroached on the waterways and what this means is that, it will be difficult for water to flow freely and when this happens, flood will occur just like what we experienced last week. But we thank God no life was lost.
“In our efforts to ensure that this occurrence didn’t happen again, we will not hesitate to take away some buildings to avert flooding in the future, as well as further guarantee safety of our people.
The contractor handling the project, Engineer Benjamin Olamiju, assured the state of quality service, saying the dredging exercise would be completed in the next few weeks.
He commended the state government for its swift response to the incidence.