Following the July 13 flood tragedy that claimed lives and valuable properties worth millions in Abeokuta, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abeokuta Branch has called on the State and Federal Government to collaborate and strengthen the capacities of relevant agencies in responding to emergency and preventing future loss.
This was contained in the press address of the Chairman, Engr Muhammad Ishola Abass after paying visit to the State Government and inspecting the scene of the tragedy along with other members of the NSE.
Engr Abass, while acknowledging the efforts of the state government in clearing the affected areas, desilting blocked culverts in the aftermath of the tragedy, said that the capacity of the relevant agencies to execute routine maintenance activities without tasks force need to be strengthens. He recommended sensitisation and awareness of the residence on the danger of dumping refuse on waterway while urging government to penalise offenders to deter future violators.
He observed that a number of water pipes and utility casings run across the inlet/outlet of Culverts and create obstruction to water passage with the attendant precipitating blockage. He recommended that the Pipes be re-laid away from the water passages.
Further, while he called on the government to commission an Engineering Study on the capacity of the existing water channels to ascertain the overall capacities of the drainage system and match it with the increase runoff from urban renewal and development activities in the metropolis.
This is necessary following the observation of the team that the existing system appeared to be overwhelmed by the flood. He expresses the readiness of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abeokuta Branch in collaborating with the government to undertake the study.
On humanitarian side, he called on the government to strengthen the capacity of relevant agencies to respond to emergencies and disasters. While saluting the gallant efforts of the State’s Fire services, he urged the National Emergency Agency, NEMA to step in and support the state and the victims of the tragedy.
Compiled by Isqil Najim