The Federal Government has commissioned and handed over the Ondo Township Erosion Control Works, in Ondo State as part of effort to check erosion and flooding in the state.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura who represented President Muhammadu at the handover ceremony explained that the Federal Government under the present administration is totally committed to addressing environmental hazards such as the devastating effects of erosion and flood menace in communities of the Nigeria States.
According to him, “this project underscores the Federal Government concerted effort and sincerity of purpose in tackling problems of its citizens and making life more meaningful for the people of this great nation.
A statement by the Ministry’s Director Press and Public Relations, Patricia Deworitshe, on Wednesday, said the President noted that the project would enhance and improve the health status, socio-economic activities and the general well-being of the people of the community and Niger Delta Region at large.
He further stated that the commissioning and handing over of the project will offer the community an opportunity to take ownership of the project in ensuring its security, maintenance and sustainability.
He therefore called on people of the community to see the project as theirs, jealously guard it and ensure that it is adequately preserved adding that the communities should also prevent the abuse of the project such as filling the drainage channels with debris and refuse that could lead to another flooding or erosion.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Ecological Fund Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Dr. Habiba Lawal, represented by the Director, Soil Erosion and Flood Control, Mr. Mathias Eluma, Ecological Fund Office (OSGF), said that the project was initiated through a request by the Ondo Town Community Development Union for an urgent intervention and forwarded to their office in order to arrest the continuous erosion and flood menace in the community.
According to him, the commissioning and handing over of the project to the community is expected to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the host community to take over and exercise ownership over the project, to ensure its care and sustainability adding that “the resources which the Federal Government had committed to the project must not be allowed to waste.”
The Permanent Secretary, while expressing his profound appreciation to the Federal Government, Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the State Governor and the Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom enjoined all members of the Ondo Community to guard the project and ensure that the water channels are not misused by indiscriminate dumping of refuse in them.
The Paramount Ruler, Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo in his speech, acknowledged the importance of the project to the entire community and the well being of people as perennial problem of erosion and flood is finally tackled.
According to him, “before the implementation of this project most of the houses in this area were already destroyed by erosion, hence the leadership of this community took the initiative to request for this project”.
Oba Victor expressed his appreciation to the Federal Government and the Government of Ondo State for intensifying efforts in ensuring that the project commenced at the appropriate time and concluded at a very short time, he assured the community that the Federal and State Governments would always assist them at all times.