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No going back on demolition of illegal structures blocking canals — Delta govt

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No going back on demolition of illegal structures blocking canals — Delta govt


The Delta State government has begun opening up all major canals and water channels in the state as part of measures to ensure the free flow of water to existing rivers and prevent flooding in Warri, Uvwie, Udu, Sapele, Ughelli, and other endangered parts of the state.

This is coming following the prediction of heavy flooding, particularly in some coastal states of Nigeria by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).

The Director-General, Special Duties, Frank Omare who monitored the clearing of the canals which started from Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, down to Warri, Warri South Local Government Area, noted that the state government is determined to do the right thing.

Omare told journalists in Warri on Friday, that Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, is determined to do everything within his power to ensure that flooding is a thing of the past in the state.

He said that starting tomorrow Monday, the state government is embarking on the demolition of all illegal structures blocking all waterways in the state, warning that no amount of pleading will stop the demolition exercise.

“For some weeks now, the government has been desilting some minor drainages in every street, which ought not to be because every resident in the state uses the drainages as their refuse dump.

“What DESOPADEC is doing now is that after desilting the drains, the water is supposed to flow to the major canals. But the canals are blocked by silt. This makes the water not go anywhere,” Omare said.

He added that in doing the right thing, the state government is going to do everything according to the law, stressing that they are not out to witch-hunt anybody.

“The Ministry of urban renewal, their officials are on the ground, the Ministry of justice, their officials are on the ground, and if we found out that some of these buildings were actually approved, then we will refer them to Asaba and they will be adequately compensated because we don’t want to illegally solve an illegal problem. We must do everything within the law.

“So nobody should be scared, but if you know that your building is on top of our waters, please go and remove it.

“We are not going to witch-hunt anybody. The Urban and Regional Planning officials are going around and they will be the ones marking any buildings for demolition.

“Deltans should not be scared because we are not going to do anything outside the law. But please nobody is allowed to call Frank Omare or the Governor to look the other side. We are going to get it right and we are going to get it done.

“So we expect that as residents of a community when you see somebody building on top of the canals, you politely tell the person that what they are doing is wrong. But for us we will not relent until we have a better environment in Delta state,” Omare added.

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