The Imo State Government has taken a step further to end the menace of flooding in the state, particularly the capital city, Owerri, by consulting Engineers, who are from the state, and other allied professionals.
The meeting, which was held at the instance of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, was held at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Council Chamber, Imo State Government House, Owerri, with representatives of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Institute of Architects, Institute of Landscape Architects, Institute of Surveyors, Institute of Town planners, Environmentalists, and Landscape Architects.
The representatives of MCC, the Construction Company that did the initial road design and construction of Owerri City, were also invited.
The various professional bodies took turn to X-ray the causes of flooding in the state, the immediate measures to control flooding and long term solutions.
Some of their resolutions included:
1. Develop the five (5) retention basins and two (2) intake structures located along Dick Tiger and at the end of Chukwuma Nwoha and channel them through tunnelling to the river.
2. Interconnect all the drainage channels at about 62 points in Owerri capital.
3. Re-align the shallow drains to connect back to its appropriate discharge point.
4. De-silt Lake Nwaebere so as to receive proper flow.
5. Open up/re-open the tunnel lines that was wrongly closed during illegal or wrong construction activities.
6. Open up the drain along Old Okigwe road opposite former CCB building.
7. Remove illegal structures along the green verge.
8. Dredge or develop the Otamiri / Nworie discharge point.
9. Rebuild illegally destroyed tunnel discharge points located at the river banks.
10. Check Illegal dumping of refuse into drainage lines and green verge.
11. Discourage all illegal sand mining along our river banks.
12. Remove all buildings which seats on the created line tunnels and retention basins.
13. Re-introduction of a road maintenance team to take care of the roads.
14. Construction of well designed detention and infiltration pit at appropriate locations.
15. Adopting good waste management practices, collection, segregation, recycling, re-use etc.
16. Enforcement of building regulations.
17. Improvement of structural integrity of road networks in the metropolis.
Ihedioha in his remark noted that it was important to seek professional recommendations to the infrastructural challenges facing the State.
In his words: “The purpose of this meeting is to enable us rub minds to achieve success. I urge all to have faith and have confidence that our efforts today will not be in vain. A task team will be constituted to work on the recommendations.
“However, aside the measures you have suggested, we also seek your professional support when the recommendations are implemented. I want to sincerely assure that this efforts of ours, God willing, will find a lasting solution to the flooding problems of Owerri.”
The professionals at the end of the interactive session agreed to have a Committee headed by a renowned Landscape Architect, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Project Monitoring and Evaluation Dr. Uche Moneke, as Secretary, while other professional bodies have two representatives.
The duty of the committee will be to put together all the recommendations into an implementable document.