In order to curb the excesses of flooding in the state, the Delta State Government has threatened to demolish houses and structures built on waterways.
The State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said that he would demolish all structures on waterways in Warri and its environs to address the flooding challenge in the area.
Disclosing this recently in Asaba, the state capital, while receiving the report of a committee studying and advising government on measures required to tackle flooding in Effurun, Warri, and its environs, the governor warned the officials of the Ministry of Lands and Surveys not to issue building approval certificates to property developers without visiting such sites to know whether they were located on roads or waterways.
According to the governor, any official of the Ministry who engages in such action will face sanctions. Okowa said that the challenges were enormous in ensuring that the waters were properly discharged from the towns and cities, stressing that any building without a plan would be pulled down.
“It is more disturbing during the rainy season; our planning department needs to do it right because any building that has no building plan will be pulled down.’’ He said henceforth for any building plan to be approved those in charge of the approvals must go to the site.
He further reiterated that people must be alive to their duties and not just sit in their offices to approve building plans. “If there is any marked building, the people concerned must stop the construction. It is our desire to reduce the level of flooding in Warri, Effurun and environs.
“What we are doing in Warri, Uvwie and environs is as a result of issues raised during the town hall meetings and, as a state government, we are committed to starting the project. We are going to hold proper stakeholders’ meeting because from what I see, the property on the waterways are many and we have to bring them down,’’ he added.
The governor expressed dissatisfaction with how flood had chased people out of their houses. Earlier, Mr John Onwualu, an engineer, while presenting the report, said that the flood challenge in Warri and environs was caused by blocked drains and buildings erected on waterways. He said that 101 flood prone areas and 13 natural water courses had been identified in the area.
According to him, a large part of the flooding in Warri, Uvwie and environs is caused by blocked drains, overgrown weeds on water channels and developers building on the waterways.