The Abia State Government on Tuesday commenced the desilting of drainages in the state as part of its flood management strategy to ensure free flow of water during the raining season.
Speaking during the official inauguration of the exercise in Umuahia, Okochi Okali, the General Manager of Abia State Road Maintenance Agency, said the exercise was initiated to address the issue of flooding in the state.
He said most of the drainages in Umuahia had not been disilted in a long while, resulting to flood disaster during the rainy season.
Okali expressed confidence that the exercise was an effective way to prevent the occurrence of flooding, adding that it would have a positive impact on the well-being of the people of Abia State.
He said the decision to commence desilting of drainages was informed by the state government’s resolve to drive infrastructural development through developing a maintenance culture.
He said: “Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had been on a drive for infrastructural development and one of the drives is to maintain the existing ones.
“I also learnt that for so many years after the building of Umuahia Municipal Town, some of the drainages have never been touched.
“The state government thought it wise to make sure all the drainages are opened to ensure free flow of water so that flood in the coming rainy season will not be damaging.”
Okali said the desilting exercise would be done in phases in parts of the state, adding that it was done in collaboration with a private company.
He urged residents of Umuahia to cooperate with the Agency during the desilting, adding that the exercise was not aimed at witch-hunting anybody, but to ensure proper channelling of storm water.
In his remark, Chief Eme Ndubuisi, the contractor handling the desilting project, said the exercise would be delivered before the expiration of the 10 months’ time frame given for the job.
Ndubuisi appealed to residents to support the initiative to enable the state government achieve its goal, and warned against dumping of refuse in drainages as defaulters would be penalised.