From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
To avoid a repeat of the ugly experiences during the 2012 flooding, Delta State government said it will soon embark on demolition of illegal structures along waterways across the state.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. John Nani said officials of the ministry would soon mobilise men and equipment to bring down any building, caravan or structure perceived to be obstructing the flow of water, no matter the status of the owners.
The state was one of the states across the federation that experienced intense flooding in 2012 when most communities particularly along the banks of major water bodies were submerged, leaving tales of woes on its trail. Lives were lost while farms were washed-off, just as houses and other properties worth billions of naira were destroyed.
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had also predicted that the state would be among some other states expected to be flooded this year.
As a result, the prediction has been a source of worry for the government, as it says that demolition of unapproved structures blocking the easy flow of water into natural course and subsequently to surrounding rivers will be a solution to the impending gloom.
According to the commissioner, owners of such illegal structures will not only be made to bear the cost of demolition and evacuation, but will also be prosecuted in line with Delta State Urban and Regional Planning Edit.
Nani advised communities along the bank of the River Niger and other places prone to flooding to immediately relocate to higher grounds.
He urged traditional rulers and Leaders of Thoughts in the state, especially those communities prone to flooding to mobilise their subjects to take necessary measures to avoid loss of lives due to flooding.