Hydroelectric Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), on Wednesday flagged off construction of 570 metre drainage, dykes, erosion control works worth N212 million at the Patigi General Hospital in the Patigi local government area of Kwara state.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of the commission, Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, said that the commission
has a special area of concern, tackling of ecological problems, especially, prevention and control of flood and other environmental hazards.
Yelwa, who said that the Patigi projects are of strategic importance to the commission, added that lack of drainages and dykes has multiple inherent negative effects.
“It results not only to flooding (which in turn could lead to loss of lives and properties and spread of diseases), but it also reverses government’s efforts especially in terms of infrastructural development.
“Among other things, for example, it causes deterioration of roads and other critical infrastructure like the General Hospitals, Patigi. The importance of this project can, therefore, not be overemphasized.
“This is more so because the environmental hazards about to be tackled possess threats and causes distress not only to the inhabitants of the residential areas around the General hospital, but also to the multiple patients from the neighbouring communities in Kwara as well as Niger and Kogi States.
“It should however be stated that drainages/dykes hardly endure without proper maintenance. One of the major challenges that governments face in terms of infrastructural development is in the tendency of people to reverse the efforts, either through lack of maintenance or even through outright abuse and destruction.
“It is common in Nigeria to see people dumping refuse in drainages. This is highly uncalled for. I, therefore, charge all members of this community to contribute their respective quotas towards ensuring good maintenance of the drainage system”.
Also speaking, the traditional ruler of the area, the Etsu Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II, urged the commission to help intervene in the poor road infrastructure traversing the community.
The monarch, who said that the commission’s intervention with support of the state government would help to reduce suffering of the people, added that the roads are dilapidated and dangerous to travel on.
He said that the area also lacks electricity supply, adding that not every member of the community could afford electric supply through solar power project.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara state, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Kayode Alabi, appreciated HYPPADEC for keying in to government’s efforts in reclaiming environment from imminent land degradation.
The governor, who suggested interventions such as tree planting campaign – for afforestation, said that it would break heavy wind and reduce heavy flows of water during precipitations that wash away the soils and leading to gully erosions.
“Erosions, land degradations, deforestation, et al are among the major environmental issues affecting our State in recent times. The issues are caused and accelerated largely due to human factors (ranging from excessive wood logging for commercial purposes, charcoal production and so on) and of course other natural factors like climate change and global warming.
“Within year 2020 till now our government has intervened in different environmental management activities ranging from advocacies and sensitizations across the State – also on radio and television stations, dredging and building of embankments – for flood and erosion control in some parts of the State – including the Capital, massive tree planting exercises and afforestation campaign across the State, partnerships with relevant Civil Society/Non-Governmental Organizations and many more.
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