EJIKEME OMENAZU, LAGOS
Dr Joseph Erico Ameh, Kogi State governorship aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform, has appealed to the Federal Government to evolve a permanent flood disaster management plan to save people’s lives and reduce victim’s hardship.
Ameh, a security expert, who spoke to SUNDAY INDEPENDENT in Lagos, said that part of the ecological funds should be allocated to flood disaster management and should be monitored to prevent its diversion to other projects.
The aspirant advised government to use the funds to make pre and post-disaster management plans for flood zones in the country, stressing that in making plans ahead, the Federal Government should identify waterlines and waterways, and then clear them.
He stressed: “When rain falls, it would naturally flow through the channels into a particular dredged area. Rivers should also be dredged; if rivers are being dredged, we gain a lot from it.
“What do we gain? One, we have space of land available unto us for farming and all that; two, the sand that comes from under the water is as fine as possible, and it could be used for building.
“If under waters are being dredged, we have more space during the rainy season, even if it is dredged and the waterways are not being created, it would still create a lot of problems,” he said.
Ameh urged the Federal Government to be proactive and go beyond giving relief materials, to making plans that should include building houses on dry lands in advance, to temporarily relocate communities on flood plains whenever flooding was envisaged, to save lives and prevent hardship.
He appealed to other states to emulate Lagos by creating sanitation enforcement agencies to deter people from dumping refuse in waterways, to prevent flooding.
He sympathised with flood victims across the nation and appealed to the ones in Kogi still having the discomfort to be patient with the Federal Government because of the economic situation of the country.
“I am appealing to my people in Kogi State to please, at this time, manage with the Federal Government, understand with the government that things are difficult at this time, that in the nearest future, solutions would be provided and all these kinds of situations would be avoided,’’ Ameh said.