The Kwara State Government on Sunday called on the Federal Government to give special consideration to the state to address ecological challenges confronting it, especially the yearly flooding arising from the overflow of the River Niger and Asa River.
“People of Kwara State have suffered greatly from ecological problems linked to yearly overflowing of these rivers and it is only fair for the state to be considered for special palliatives to fix damaged infrastructure and economic lives of our people and mitigate the effects on the affected communities,” the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Isiaka Al-Amin, told a news briefing on Sunday in Ilorin, the state capital.
The news briefing followed a sensitisation tour of flood-prone areas in the state by a committee set up by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The interministerial committee, chaired by Al-Amin, was set up as part of government’s efforts to lessen the impact of flooding in the state.
Al-Amin said the yearly overflow of the River Niger has cut off communities, destroyed farmlands and displaced thousands of people across the state, calling on the Federal Government to consider urgent dredging of the River to end the perennial flooding.
He also called for urgent completion of the channelisation of the Asa River to curtail the yearly flooding in the state, especially in the Kwara Central Senatorial District.
“While it has become pertinent to strengthen high-level advocacy and sensitisation to educate our teeming population to vacate riverine areas pending when the rain subsides, we wish to place it on record that this is an ecological problem which requires urgent and enduring solution. It is on that note that we call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency consider the dredging of the River Niger to end the perennial flooding and destruction of properties in communities bordering it,” he said.
“Moreover, our people are advised to always remain where they are during a suspected heavy downpour. Meanwhile, it has been approved that outstanding fertilisers meant for farmers be distributed immediately to enhance their farm products.”
Al-Amin said the committee has succeeded in getting some flood-prone communities to relocate temporarily to facilities provided by the government, commending the traditional and thoughts leaders for their support in the campaign.