…charges NDDC to focus on real interventionist projects.
By Michael Odiah
The Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba has said that the state government is very much interested in ameliorating the pains of existing and would be flood victims in the state.
Mr Onogba disclosed this during a media parley with members of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel (ICC) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta State Council, stressing that building camps as usual is not the way to go in a time like this when the dreaded Covid-19 is currently ravaging the world.
He stated that setting up of camps would certainly turn out to be breeding grounds for the virus taking cognizance of the number of people that will be sheltered in the various camps.
The Commissioner added that no sane person would consider building camps as it would definitely breach all Covid-19 protocols in place and further increase the spread of the virus.
Onogba stressed that advocacy is the way forward towards reducing the effects of flooding on its victims, saying “currently we are engaging in advocacy for people to move to higher grounds. I remember during my boat ride to some communities, we discovered that people have relocated, and this is a result of early advocacy” but it doesn’t mean that the government will not do anything to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, the government is working assiduously to ensure that palliatives gets to these affected persons.
The Commissioner added that the government is working so hard to ensure that the pending flood does not hit the state so hard like it did in 2012 noting that “we have done a lot to reduce flooding- desilting of Agbor, Orogodo, Anwai rivers, and also cleared creeks in Bomadi and environs, so when the flood eventually comes, it won’t be as bad as before.
“People should help by desisting from making our drains dumping sites with the idea that the rains will flush it all, and also, people should desist from building on natural water ways, because together, we can make the environment clean. So I appeal to Deltans to join hands together in this drive to create a clean organized Delta”
Mr Chris Onogba further called on interventionist commissions like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to take their hands of small water schemes and engage in proper intervention schemes to rescue the Niger Delta like dredging and shore protection in the case of flooding
He said: “Dredging and shore protection can help reduce reoccurring flood which is supposed to be a role of interventionist agencies like NDDC. NDDC should take their hands off small water schemes, street lights, 1 km roads, maternity homes, others for state and local governments. The money wasted on NDDC if well utilized, would have eased the burden facing Niger Delta, but after 20 years they have failed colossally and these are our own people”.
The Environment Commissioner encouraged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of planting a tree in their homes taking cognizance of a fact that there has been a 2% reduction of oxygen on earth hinting that “as I speak to you, I am planning a tree corridor at the airport. Even before I became commissioner, I have always liked trees, so I challenge everyone, to join me and plant at least 5 trees in our life time, and by so doing we would have directly impacted in climate change.”