The Osun State government has assured residents that the waterways shall be further cleared to prevent a recurrence of the recent flood that led to the death of one person and rendered many homeless.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola made this pledged when he visited the affected areas with his Deputy, Mrs Titilayo Tomori-Laoye, to commiserate with the flood victims
Hours of torrential raining in Osogbo, the Osun State capital had resulted in flooding of some communities.
The affected areas include: Testing Ground, Rasco, Oke-Onitea, Fiwasaye, Gbomi and Iludun in Osogbo.
Many shops were also affected as goods worth millions naira were destroyed by the flood.
While giving his administration’s condolence for the loss of life and property, the Governor urged residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, which he said was largely responsible for the flooding.
Aregbesola noted that his administration had invested heavily in dredging the major waterways identified as flood prone zones to avert such occurrences.
He nevertheless promised that his government would not relent on its efforts to ensure that the waterways are made free to prevent future occurrence.
“We have been very much committed to ensuring absence of this calamity. This is the first time we are witnessing this in the state.
Since the advent of the administration, we have regularly been desilting the waterways on an annual basis. Although, the state had received a flood alert, the government, considering its deflooding efforts, never expected it to have the devastating effect.”
One of the affected residents said the cause of the flooding was a bridge through which drainage within the area was channeled, which they insisted was too low.
They suggested that the government reconstruct the bridge and elevate it with good drainage.
One of the residents, however, commended the government’s response.
“We thank God for blessing us with a responsive Governor. When this was happening, Ogbeni’s reaction was swift and one can hope that the state will intensify its long ongoing deflooding efforts to contain this new stage of environmental challenge.”
The lifeless body of a man, identified as Elder Olabode was on Wednesday recovered at the bank of River Okooko in Oke Oniti area of Osogbo, about 24 hours after flood swept him away.
The remains of the 60-year-old Olabode was recovered by a team of search party after the flood subsided on Wednesday morning.
The victim’s remains were later deposited at the morgue of the State Hospital in Asubiaro, Osogbo.
Eyewitnesses’ accounts said Olabode was warned not to dare the flood by attempting to drive through the water.
One Philip Adeagbo explained that, “the man (Olabode) was warned not to drive through the flood but he refused. I was there and we all warned him to go back but he didn’t listen. After moving for few minutes, the intensity of the flood forced open the booth of his car and the flood swept him away alongside his vehicle,” he said.
The State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ayodele Philips, paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
The civil defence chief advised residents to avoid flood prone areas during this rainy season, assuring them of the readiness of the Corps to give all necessary support.