Ekiti Allocates ₦88.3 Million To Tackle Flooding In High-risk Zones

Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s led government of Ekiti State has allocated ₦88.3 million to support the recommencement of dredging in Ado, Ikere, and Ekiti South-West Local Government Areas to prevent flooding and protect lives and property.

Naija News understands that the government’s decision was made two days after the Federal Government cautioned that 31 states were facing potential severe flooding.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Utsev, highlighted on Monday that 148 local government areas in 31 states were identified as high-risk flood zones for 2024.

The minister gave the warning during the official presentation of the 2024 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja.

Nonetheless, Ekiti State Commissioner for Information and Value Orientation, Taiwo Olatunbosun, stated in Ado Ekiti that the state government had taken proactive measures by dredging major river courses in January 2023.

This was done before flood alerts were issued by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), identifying the state capital as a high-risk zone for flooding in the upcoming rainy season.

The government has allocated sufficient funds for the dredging of critical areas prone to flash floods and high-risk flood canals and rivers, particularly in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

“The dredging project greatly reduced the impact of flooding predicted by NIMET in the state, but unfortunately, the funds released for the project became inadequate due to hyperinflation.

“There was an astronomical increase in prices of diesel, petrol, swamp buggy spare parts, haulage/movement of swamp buggy from one location to another and maintenance cost, which stalled the project.

“The aforementioned changes, coupled with the devaluation of the naira and sharp increase in the dollar-to-naira exchange rate, distorted major variables and assumptions upon which Mr Governor’s approval was granted,” Olatunbosun said.

The dredging exercise, which will be implemented through direct labour, must be completed within three months.

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