Paul Osuyi, Asaba
ABOUT 25 exotic houses built on water channels will be brought down as part of measures to address the perennial flooding in Okpanam community within the Delta State capital territory.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who made this known in Asaba during the weekend, said he would step on toes to ensure the state capital is free of flooding.
He said eight different flooding projects have been identified, adding that three have been completed, with job on the fourth project currently halted by the rains.
“In Okpanam, there are about 25 houses that have been marked out for demolition because they were built on the way to a valley where flood water is supposed to flow into.
“We will bring down those buildings. I am sorry in advance for anybody that will be affected by the demolition because we are going to step on toes,” the governor said.
He said his administration is irrevocably committed to the development of the capital territory, describing Asaba as the fastest growing capital across the country because of the peaceful disposition of the natives and residents.
“We have done a lot but there is still much for us to do in Asaba. As a government, we will work with stakeholders to ensure we grow Asaba better than it is today because we are committed to growing Asaba as the capital of our dream,” he said.
Governor Okowa listed some of the projects executed in Asaba to include the Asaba Airport. He said that plans are on to concession it for the cargo runway to be constructed.
“The Asaba Airport has the second best runway in the country today and we are looking forward to having partners that will make the airport a true international one with a cargo wing,” he added.
The governor disclosed that a Pleasure Park and a Nollywood Village are among the projects being constructed to add to the beauty of Asaba.
Meanwhile, Iyase of Igbodo kingdom in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, Ifeanyi Unomah, at the weekend, fled from his palatial residence as rampaging flood submerged parts of the agrarian community.
Locals attributed the cause of the flood which submerged property and rendered hundreds of people homeless, to the heavy rain in the town.
As at the time of filing in this report, several houses and farmlands have been submerged; while many others were being threatened as the rains persists.
Affected residents were seen scampering for safety, even as they made frantic efforts to salvage what was left of their belongings.
Although, Unomah could not be immediately reached, Director of Media and Publicity, Igbodo Development Union (IDU), Nkem Nwaeke, confirmed that the home of the Iyase was one of the properties worst hit.
Nwaeke revealed that the Iyase, a retired don, was devastated as he watched the fence of his expansive premises go down before leaving the compound for safety.
In another development, Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, has attributed the pollution of the environment in the Niger Delta region to the destruction and explosion of illegal crude oil vessels by security agents.
He said the action of the security agents does not conform to global best practices, adding that the destructive action in the waterways with its concomitant despoliation of the environment that support livelihood of residents has worsened environmental hazards.
Otuaro, who is the chairman, Delta State Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities, spoke at Okerenkoko community where he addressed protesters shortly after embarking on a helicopter-driven aerial view of sites impacted by spills from exploded vessels in Warri North and Warri South West local government areas of the state.
He said: “The statutory responsibility of the security agents is to protect the oil facilities and prevent illegal bunkering.”