RECENTLY, Anambra embarked on drainage desilting exercise across urban and suburban centres in the state.
FLAGGING off the exercise at Eke-Awka axis of Awka metropolis on behalf of Gov. Willie Obiano, immediate past Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Mike Okonkwo disclosed that selection of Eke-Awka for the pilot programme was predicated on a series of havocs that have been wrecked on the area by flood in recent rainy seasons.
MR OKONKWO also explained that the exercise distinguishes itself from similar programmes of the past as it designates households and cottage areas as its focal point.
ACCORDING to him, Anambra State Government set out on the initiative not only in line with its commitment to ensuring good and healthy homes and streets but appealing aesthetics on the state’s environment as one of the legacies.
The project fits into the new policy templates of the government on which successive administrations should build upon and ensure that Anambra never returns to her years of avoidable environmental degradations.
WHILE this is no doubt a step in the right direction by Gov. Obiano, it is also apt to throw more light on some other totems that stand it out.
Apart from being therapeutic in deeper sense, such approach to social hygeine offers precautionary rather than corrective approach to preventing flooding, factoring households – where the bulk of refuse and sewages that block free flow of water channels are generated. It gives a mass participation appeal.
IF HOUSEHOLDS are on the driving wheel of flood control, by desilting or clearing of drainages at regular intervals, it will take no time before the results begin to register not only on the environment but also on people’s health, since disease vectors like anopheles mosquitoes, bacteria and other disease-carrying inhabitants in garbages will hardly find anywhere to hatch or nurture.
THIS is noteworthy because drainage channels being opened up and rehabilitated are timely interventions when controlling the periodic floods caused during rainy season’s flooding deluge.
More so, with the predictions of weather forecast experts that Anambra may witness huge flooding this year. It is however saddening that some people have paid deaf ears and remained intransigent to the duties they owe not only to public health and environment.
It is also worrisome that there are people who play blind to the devastating impacts on the state’s economy.
MANY households still dump refuse and dungs just anywhere that catches their fancy, not minding whether they block waterways or expose their communities to environmental hazard. But the same people will quickly volte face and relapse into save our soul (SOS) clarions when their indiscretion boomerangs through massive flooding that ipso facto corrals up in erosions.
NO MATTER anyone’s take on this, emergency responses to the quest for a safe and friendly environment will continue to yield paltry results unless every anti-flooding model starts from the homefront as its fundamental catchment area .
WE THEREFORE, recommend strict monitoring of the on-going exercise to ensure popular compliance and punishment of incorrigible households by regulatory authorities, as well as relevant stakeholders to justify Gov. Obiano’s strategic investment in environmental beauty which has transformed the subsector beyond the lip service most of his predecessors paid to it.
HOWEVER the society should help herself too. Water collation pointss, down-gradient of floods should be dug to reduce outflows. Ridges must be constructed around yam mounds to trap water in farms.
Every compound should dig shallow wells to collate runoffs from rooftops and grounds, with collated waters allowed to filtrate into groundwater. Landlords and tenants should keep drains in front of their compounds open and free-off obstructions to water flows.
People should refrain from mining laterite from roadsides or excavating sands from flood or river channels indiscriminately.
NOBODY needs to be told the havoc that come with flood and erosion on our highways, farmlands and homes in terms of human and material loss.
PERHAPS, what everybody needs to be told is that it is time to borrow new leaf to save our environment so that our environment may spare us.